Ever sneak a late-night snack after a big dinner, or binge late into the night? Eating a huge meal, then going to sleep, is the sumo wrestler diet. Your body can’t process or burn those extra calories. So it stores them as fat, leading to weight gain and prediabetes. In functional medicine, we look at root causes, like how powerful hormones can trigger your night-time food cravings. Learn how to stop them.
Every day during consultations with clients I find myself having to propose a new paradigm of nutrition for them so they can heal and live a life of energy and vitality. This will vary from client to client but the fundamentals are usually the same. I have written extensively on gluten and sugar but this article pertains to techniques and alternatives for people who need to remove refined sugar, wheat and dairy from their diet. In over 20 years in the health and fitness industry, I can’t tell you how many people have made significant improvements by eliminating bread, milk, and the many variations of them.
The first 3-7 days of refraining from wheat and dairy will usually result in the client going through withdrawal symptoms. They will not feel well during this time but this will pass and they will recover feeling much better than they ever have. The first step is to consume a great deal of vegetables. Start by focusing on green, dense vegetables like spinach, broccoli and kale. You should also add in coloured vegetables like carrots, beets, and squash. The colour represents the phytonutrient density. Between 3 and 5 servings of vegetables will provide fiber, nutrients and antioxidants to fill the void made by reducing dairy and gluten. Focus on foods rich in iron, thiamin, niacin and Vitamin B. Consuming vegetables is also very good for promoting good bacteria in the gut.
The second tip is to drink lots of water. In doing so, you are going to continually flush the toxins out of the body and purify your system. You are regulating your body and cleansing it by eliminating toxic chemicals that were present in the wheat and dairy. The third tip is to increase (or start for some people) your intake of L-glutamine (amino acid). Glutamine has long been known in the bodybuilding world for recovery or regeneration after a workout. In this context, it is extremely important in keeping blood sugar levels stable and all your neurotransmitters firing strongly and in cohesion. Consuming foods that contain L-glutamine will satisfy your brain’s craving for carbohydrates as it keeps serotonin, dopamine and gaba levels elevated.
The fourth recommendation is to increase your levels of vitamin C. Taking vitamin C is important for minimizing cravings because vitamin C and glucose/sugar have similar chemical structures and they compete with one another to get into the cells. The more vitamin C you take, the less sugar you will crave. It will also encourage bowel movements and cleansing of the body. The final approach you should take is to increase your anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are anti-inflammatory and are found in many fruits and vegetables (think good sugar). When your body consumes an adequate amount of grapes, berries and apples, it senses satiety and your unhealthy cravings for bread, candy, pop, etc. will dissipate. I hope you found this informative and you implement these ideas into your daily routine.
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