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-   -   Dealing with cravings (http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=481707)

teaser Wed, Dec-12-18 09:37

Dealing with cravings
 
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releas...1211190021.htm#

N
Quote:
ew review of scientific studies confirms food cravings can be reduced

Food craving, the intense desire to eat certain foods, can sabotage efforts to maintain healthy eating habits and body weight, no matter the time of year.

However, an examination of 28 current peer-reviewed scientific studies largely substantiates findings that changes in diet, prescription medications, physical activity and bariatric surgery reduce craving, said Candice Myers, PhD, assistant professor -- research at LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

"Craving influences what people eat and their body weight, but there are some components of our behavior and diet that we do have control over," Myers said. "Being mindful of these desires gives us more control of them." Myers was the lead author of "Food Cravings and Body Weight: a Conditioning Response."

For example, one proven way to reduce the longing for a certain food is to eat it less frequently. In other words, it's better to remove something from your diet than to try to eat smaller helpings of it.

"The upside of craving is that it is a conditioned response that you can unlearn," said John Apolzan, PhD, director of Pennington Biomedical's Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism Laboratory. "It's not easy, but it can be done."

Other takeaways from their review included that:

Losing weight reduces food craving. Beware exercise can increase cravings. Cravings account for as much as 11 percent of eating behavior and weight gain, more than genetics currently explains. Many obesity drugs -- phentermine, lorcaserin, semaglitude and liraglitude among others -- reduce craving.

Different demographic and socioeconomic groups may have different responses to food cravings. But little is known about these potential differences, and more investigation is needed.

"Food craving is an important piece of the weight-loss puzzle. It doesn't explain weight gain 100 percent," Myers said. "A number of other factors, including genetics and eating behavior, are also involved."




Losing weight reducing food craving... that one almost got me to stick this in the War Zone. My own experience is that the leaner I get, the more ketogenic/non-insulinogenic my diet needs to be to avoid cravings and binges. Even then--if I steer what cravings do show up towards say brazil nuts and pecans, versus higher carb nut and nut-like foods like peanuts, cashews, and pistachios, things generally go better. That is, it's not like I'm never a bit hungrier or food-lusty, sticking to foods that will minimally increase my insulin, or decrease my ketones, or however this is working, gives me a better outcome.

So my personal list of things that increase cravings/binges--weight loss, exposure to craveworthy foods, a non-ketogenic diet, exercise (not working out, but long walks etc.), being short on sleep, alcohol.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5529244/

Quote:
Frequency of consuming foods predicts changes in cravings for those foods during weight loss: The POUNDS Lost Study


This was probably included in the review, might be the source for claims that both weight loss and reduction in food frequency reduced cravings. So how did they measure cravings? They asked people, while they were dieting, whether they were craving. People who'd lost more weight reported less craving for fast food, more for fruits and vegetables. Obvious conjecture here that a diet that reduced cravings might drive the weight loss, rather than the other way around. That certainly works for me, switch to a less insulinogenic diet, I'll tend to lose weight, maybe have a decreased appetite/cravings until my weight settles at a new low. Being in a state conducive to weight loss, rather than weight loss itself, does reduce cravings for me.

Ms Arielle Wed, Dec-12-18 10:01

Boy, they sure make dealing with cravings sound easy. If only it was that easy. NOT in my experience. Generally speaking, the more my diet is LC the easier. Easier, NOT easy. If I dont keep up on managing ADD, all is lost.

THis struck me as totally off base, showing a lack of understand of cravings.
Quote:
"The upside of craving is that it is a conditioned response that you can unlearn," said John Apolzan, PhD, director of Pennington Biomedical's Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism Laboratory. "It's not easy, but it can be done."


Clearly someone who has NEVER been pregnant. When a craving hit me during pregnancy it was for Doritos and a diet coke. A two stop shopping for DH usually about 11 pm. Doritios is a favorite but it was something that was normally YEARS between a large bag, and the same for that diet coke. Don't see this craving as fitting a conditioned response.

Today, food thoughts flit thru my head, more if off plan, far better if on plan. Sometimes a stressful situation will cause a craving for a comfort food. THAT would be a conditioned response, ( or is it?) to reach for a sweet. It is a physiological compulsion to up the serotonin level to find serenity again..... is that really a conditioned response?

Met a man who was working hard at giving up cigarettes. Found he had to give up coffee too as he always had a coffee and a cigarette together. Smart man to realize this and give up both just to give up the cigarettes. THIS IMO is conditioned response.

When I took out a glass and filled it with milk, I struggled to fill the glass only half full. I grew up in a house where we had ONE full glass of milk with dinner. Had to take our share or else what remained in the container would be divi'd up among those that wanted seconds. Thousands of meals later this was ingrained. Just like using a large plate and filling it. To make changes 15 years into my adult years, changing to a smaller plate was the answer. I was conditioned to fill the plate, so choice a smaller plate. Filling my glass half full was a struggle and took years of practise to m ake half full be normal, and I mean the internal feeling of this feels right and ok. ( of course milk is a thing of the past) A full glass of water or diet drink is ok; but happlily, I can also pour just a couple fingers of kombucha and not feel deprived. Ya, THAT is conditioning.

fred42 Wed, Dec-12-18 11:06

As said, LC helps reduce cravings by smoothing out the blood sugar swings. A couple of other things are helpful to me.

1. Learning to crave and enjoy fat. After decades of using paper towels to press every drop of fat out of cooked ground beef, pre-trimming/skinning meats, and buying only lean meats you get conditioned into hating the taste and texture of fat. You have to reconnect with your inner caveman and start loving this to the point of obsession.

2. I don't find keto imitations of carb foods helpful. That is, keto versions of bread, pasta, rice, pizza, cookies, bars, ice cream, sweet drinks, etc. These were the addiction triggers. I prefer to develop disgust for these things and view them as symbols of my past oppression, abuse and attempted murder. As a bonus, when you drop these things, meal prep is a lot easier and cheaper. Do recovering alcoholics drink their milk from shot glasses? Do ex-smokers carry a lighter around?

teaser Wed, Dec-12-18 11:19

I think it is a conditioned response. But with the stipulation that almost everything is. I never crave natto, or caviar, or haggis. Maybe if I'd ever been exposed to any one of these, I'd crave them. Hard to crave something you've never met. But in this is that conditioned responses rely on unconditioned, if we didn't have a natural appetite for salt, sugar, fat, protein etc., pairing these with particular stimuli wouldn't condition a response.

A conditioned response doesn't necessarily involve daily craving. There are certain foods I pretty much crave only around Christmas. Like rutabagas.

khrussva Wed, Dec-12-18 11:29

My brain is/was conditionally programmed to know what to eat to get my blood sugar back up. I craved what I knew would resolve episodes of low or crashing blood sugar. For me it was always a one-two punch. By my observations, those who are not insulin resistant -- those who have more natural BG response to the food that they eat -- don't experience the intense cravings and subsequent conditioned addiction that I once did. For me it took some time for the compulsion/cravings for sugar (carbs) to fade once the primary driving force was addressed.

walnut Wed, Dec-12-18 11:34

thanks for the post, cravings are something that i still struggle with.

i've been dairyfree for years, and i know that when i start craving cheese i usually need to take more calcium supplementation. so i guess that means that another source of a craving is dietary deficiency. now, whether that's because of omission from diet or malabsorption problems is another story!!

SilverEm Wed, Dec-12-18 14:43

For me, some of the wanting to eat a particular food or food group is a reaction due to needing nutrients I haven't eaten recently. As others, I must care for sleep, rest, light, exercise, and those things in my life which help well-being.

If I eat meat, fat, and a few nutrient-rich carbs, and keep my water intake high enough, that covers a lot.

I also need lots of minerals. If my intake is too low on salt, seaweed, bone broths, I will get the urge to eat carbs or low-nutrient foodstuffs.

If I have eaten something which I get allergic reactions to, those reactions will trigger "eat this" or "eat that".

Dr. Theron Randolph wrote about these stages of reaction.

Here is a short synopsis of "The Addiction Pyramid":

http://superiorsites3.com/NNW90AddictionPyramid.htm

As people gradually become increasingly susceptible and cumulatively exposed to commonly consumed foods, food-drug combinations, and drugs, to which they are reacting unknowingly, they tend to ascend the addiction pyramid.

More info on the stages of reactions:

http://superiorsites3.com/NNSp87FoodAddictEcoMenIll.htm

Also, other things in the environment can trigger appetites for food or stimulants. These are known as exogenous endocrine disruptors.

Dr. Samuel Milhelm's studies on "dirty electricity", Dr. Magda Havas' work on the effects of EMFs are useful reading.

Here is a page at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences on endocrine disruptors. BPA is one.

https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/to...crine/index.cfm

My two cents. :)

M Levac Wed, Dec-12-18 14:47

Quote:
"Craving influences what people eat and their body weight, but there are some components of our behavior and diet that we do have control over,"

Hunger influences whether people eat or not. But then, eating influences whether people are hungry or not. Similarly, consuming something which is addictive can and will lead to a craving of same, in turn to influence whether we consume it again, and again, and again...

The first one is free!
Quote:
"A number of other factors, including genetics and eating behavior, are also involved."

Why don't you just say carbs and insulin, huh?

Anyways, in my low-carb booklet, I wrote that cravings and hunger are similar, so taking care of one will affect the other. In practice this means eating genuine food if you're craving some chocolate or something. Even if it doesn't do anything to the craving itself, at least when you jump into that box of chocolate, it's likely you won't eat it all just now. It's just an idea but I think there's something there.

The conditioned response bit, I'm not sure it makes sense. A conditioned response is "a response that is transferred from the second to the first of a pair of stimuli". But if I use my idea about cravings and hunger, then it makes some sense cuz that's one way to transfer the response from the craving/cake pair to the hunger/food pair. But then my idea also includes another idea which is that the consumption of the thing has a physiological effect, and this effect is what locks in the response. This means for a pair to effectively replace another, it must also have an effect. I mean, it can't just be "think about something else" cuz that's just gonna drive you crazy. No, instead the effect must be strong enough that the thought goes away with little or no effort.

OK, a kid wants something and bugs you to no end. You ain't got what he wants, so you offer something else instead. If it's good enough, he's gonna stop bugging you. If it ain't, well...

M Levac Wed, Dec-12-18 15:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by fred42
As said, LC helps reduce cravings by smoothing out the blood sugar swings. A couple of other things are helpful to me.

1. Learning to crave and enjoy fat. After decades of using paper towels to press every drop of fat out of cooked ground beef, pre-trimming/skinning meats, and buying only lean meats you get conditioned into hating the taste and texture of fat. You have to reconnect with your inner caveman and start loving this to the point of obsession.

2. I don't find keto imitations of carb foods helpful. That is, keto versions of bread, pasta, rice, pizza, cookies, bars, ice cream, sweet drinks, etc. These were the addiction triggers. I prefer to develop disgust for these things and view them as symbols of my past oppression, abuse and attempted murder. As a bonus, when you drop these things, meal prep is a lot easier and cheaper. Do recovering alcoholics drink their milk from shot glasses? Do ex-smokers carry a lighter around?

Important points, I think. Personally, I felt more at ease when I kept a full pack of smokes that time I quit. I imagine the fact that my pack is running low is a stimulus that drives the craving, and this would get stronger if I didn't have any. So, one pack shut that down, allowing me to focus on the other aspects of quitting. I also used the patch and learned that it can fail if we don't understand how it works and don't apply it properly so it doesn't provide us with the nicotine it should. The patch took care of the physiological effect while I delt with the psychological stuff like all the associated behaviors that trigger the craving.

I had to learn all about eating fat and enough of it. I went overboard with it at some points, not that it's a bad thing cuz I learned my limits which are quite high if I listen to anybody I tell about it. Your lunch was a stick of butter?!? I experimented and learned to enjoy raw meat, raw fat, lots of fat, eating the fat first, not chewing so much and gobbling it down, etc. I'm not sure I learned to crave fat, but I certainly learned to enjoy it in much larger quantities and variety than I used to. I imagine it helped that when I ate lots of fat I felt a little better than when I didn't, so there's the physiological effect again.

I did develop disgust for a few things I used to chomp down like a big mac and their fries. Maybe they've always tasted like that, I just craved them so much less that I could now actually realise how tasteless that crap really is. Sawdust, glue? Something like that.

Bonnie OFS Sat, Dec-15-18 15:45

I needed to start on a bp med - Lisinopril - & found out my food cravings are way down. Of course, this is just my 4th day on it, so maybe it's temporary. But it feels good! My cravings were mostly for more meat - amazing how much meat I can eat at one sitting - but now I'm not craving it. Weird.

The good side effects - more energy & less hunger - are great. The bad side affects - slight dizziness & morning headache - are minor, & hopefully temporary.

Were my food cravings a result of high blood pressure? I don't know, but lower blood pressure is sure turning out to be good for me. :)

dcc0455 Sat, Dec-15-18 19:01

I don't know if this is unique to me, or maybe its common, but I don't get cravings to specific foods. I do get instances where I cannot seem to stop eating, even if I feel full. This was common before going low carb, went away for the first two years of low carb, and has returned in my third year of low carb. Maybe this is related to why it is reported that most people regain weight after three years.

bluesinger Sun, Dec-16-18 09:44

Thanks for this subject.

Since I'm in this for the l-o-n-g haul and am in maintenance
AND
consider at my age this is Therapeutic Keto:

Finding out WHY is important for me so I started writing "off" on my electronic calendar when I felt I ate too many carbs in a day. My off days are cyclical, usually at the same time every month. We all know this is about hormones, but rarely consider the sex hormone slant.

If I'm in ketosis, totally on plan and the Wham! get hit with cravings once a month, what am I supposed to think that's about? (Don't forget that I'm post post menopausal.)

My cravings are the usual suspects:
Salty / crunchy
Sweet / creamy

So I've now got it narrowed down, timewise, so my electronic calendar now has *******Watch Out!********* on it once a month. My next step is to develop salty / crunchy on-plan foods for the days leading up to that date. I already have the sweet / creamy foods covered.

This is my new strategy for dealing with my body cravings. Now I just have to recruit my brain.

WereBear Mon, Dec-17-18 10:08

Funny things happened when I went gluten-free.

The longer I went without gluten, the worse my stomachís reaction when I did eat some (always by accident.) This killed all cravings. Stuff in the breakroom is easy to pass up.

This made me think that what we struggle with is the decision. If, like me, we decide these are no longer an option... I donít want them, either.

bluesinger Mon, Dec-17-18 10:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by WereBear
This made me think that what we struggle with is the decision.
Totally. I always give myself permission. Used to make excuses, but now I know me. :lol:

teaser Wed, Dec-19-18 10:16

Quote:
Food insecurity -- difficulty affording enough food to support regular, balanced meals -- was associated with increased likelihoods of binge-eating disorder and obesity in a recent International Journal of Eating Disorders study.

It is important to examine potential links between binge-eating disorder and food insecurity because binge eating is associated with more severe mental and physical health problems than overeating or obesity alone. To investigate, researchers surveyed 1,250 US adults and categorized them into three groups: healthy weight, binge-eating disorder, and obesity. The team assessed financial influences on participants' food consumption behaviors over the previous 12 months.

A greater proportion of individuals within the binge-eating disorder and obesity groups reported that they cut the size of their meal or skipped meals, and ate less than they thought they should, relative to participants in the healthy weight group.

"This is an important study because it expands our view as to who might be susceptible to binge-eating disorder," said co-author Dr. Janet Lydecker, of the Yale School of Medicine. "Although we traditionally think about self-imposed dieting (to lose weight) as associated with binge eating, our findings suggest that externally-imposed restrictions on food are also related to binge eating."


There's a rat model of binge eating. Feed normal chow, only occassionally let them have a go at some oreos. This works better if there's some calorie restriction in the regular feeding schedule.

This makes sense as being normal physiology in the wild, if food is uncertain, why not binge when a windfall presents itself? We can blame Barbie, and unrealistic celebrity etc. role models, and self image and all, but can we really blame all that when the same thing happens to a rat?

Back to the original article

Quote:
For example, one proven way to reduce the longing for a certain food is to eat it less frequently. In other words, it's better to remove something from your diet than to try to eat smaller helpings of it.


I have certain foods, like homemade sugar free ice cream, that some would consider binge foods. But I eat them almost daily. Even make more if I want to. But uncontrolled binges don't happen with these foods... removing something almost completely from your diet, does it increase the probability of a binge the very rare time that you do consume it?


https://www.sciencedaily.com/releas...81219075838.htm


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