© Copyright Bee Wilder, Revised October 2, 2011 to clarify Steps to Take.
Also read Food Cravings, How to Control Them
Carbohydrates are all plant foods. In other words, they are any foods not classified as protein or fat, including vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, spices, herbs, sugars, etc.
During the first couple of weeks on a healthy program most people will experience withdrawal symptoms, that may include irritability, feeling edgy, craving sweets, grains, and other snacks, and a feeling that you are going crazy. Cravings for foods that are not allowed on the program include sugar, salty foods and products containing grains or potatoes. If this happens you can try to grin and bear it and it will eventually pass if you can discipline yourself to stay off of them long enough, but that isn’t easy to do. However there are things you can do to help minimize your cravings.
Your body is going through withdrawal symptoms because it has become addicted to sugars, grains, high carb foods and chemicals contained in foods previously consumed. Your cravings will also be higher because of a lack of nutrients, particularly for minerals.
In the beginning it is very difficult to make the transition, but with patience and determination to get healthy you can successfully get through this phase and be better off in the end. The sooner you can adopt the entire diet the closer you will be to getting healthy.
Your body will crave “bad” salt (table salt) contained in the foods you previously ate, which is added to most processed foods. Table salt is bleached, deodorized, and refined, removing any minerals that may have been present, and containing harmful chemicals. Your very blood requires “real” salt to function, but it needs other trace minerals that are found naturally in a good ocean sea salt, like Celtic. Your cells must be bathed in sodium-based extracellular fluid which includes a balanced mixture of essential minerals your body needs and craves.
You can greatly minimize your salt cravings by taking at least 1.5 teaspoons of good ocean sea salt daily, which contains over 84 trace minerals. Lack of minerals, particularly good salt, can increase cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It can be added to foods while cooking or after they are cooked. You can also mix 1/4 teaspoon into 6 ounces of non-chlorinated water and drink it during meals. Ocean sea salt stimulates digestive enzymes in the mouth, and increases hydrochloric acid production in the stomach, which aids digestion.
You can greatly decrease your cravings for sweets and grains by eliminating them both as soon as possible. Dr. Mercola says that going 5 days without sweets and grains will help get past those cravings.
“Good” fats such as butter, coconut oil, and other natural occurring fats from meats and eggs also help decrease cravings, addiction and withdrawal symptoms. That is because they provide you with the best source of energy and satiate your appetite much better than the carbs and sugars you used to eat. In fact your body cannot live without good fats and protein from animals, but it can live without carbs. Good fats, meats and eggs are the easiest foods for your body to digest compared to any carbs (Note: Carbs are any foods which are not fats or protein, including vegetables, grains, fruits, etc.).
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. If there is more glucose/sugar, less vitamin C gets into the cells. It there is more vitamin C, less glucose/sugar gets into the cells. Since our bodies do not make vitamin C it must obtain vitamin C from foods or supplements. That is why a healthy diet eliminates consuming any kinds of sugar, including fruits, and is low-carb because all carbs (plant foods) are changed into glucose in the body. As you lower glucose/sugars in the your body, your body will also require less vitamin C in order to be healthy.
Steps to take when you have cravings
Do each of these steps one at a time, wait 1/2 hour or as long as you can before doing the next step. Also try to get busy with something that will distract you from your cravings, i.e. do cleaning, read a book, watch comedy on TV, call or email a friend, etc.
- Drink a 6 ounce glass of ocean sea salt water (1/4 teaspoon of ocean sea salt mixed into 6 ounces of non-chlorinated water).
- Take vitamin C every 1/2 hour with water until the craving subsides.
- Take some unrefined coconut oil or another “good” fat like butter. Often 1 teaspoon of fat is enough.
- Lastly, eat some protein, like eggs, which are easy to digest and very nutritious. It is a good idea to have a few boiled eggs on hand for this purpose.
- Note: Cravings for chocolate are usually caused by a lack of magnesium so take 100-150 mg of magnesium citrate instead, but only take it one time. Taking more will lower calcium in your body, and throw off other mineral balances.