Are You One of Millions Who Crave Carbs Under Stress? Cravings-Crushing Monday/Your Motivating Monday
Do you often feel stressed?
If you’re like millions of us in America, Great Britain, and Australia, you get stressed, which may often “make” you do such unhealthy things such as eat (or, more likely, overeat) processed carbs and sugary snacks and do other unhealthy things.
Today is the first in a series of blog posts in which I help you discover Simple Ways to Shut Down Stress. No need to rush anymore to processed carbs and sugary snacks to unwind, calm down and soothe you.
Now, let’s find out which stresses are now applicable for you.
Or is your level of stress high for another reason?
Admittedly, the inspiration for writing about stress grew out of my own massive, seemingly endless, overpowering stress in the past four years, ever since I moved across country for my dying Mom; helplessly watched for a year while she lost the battle to lung cancer; moved several times (now for the fifth or sixth time); got walloped by carb cravings, overate carbs (which was initially quite embarrassing), gained 21 pounds (which I’ve now lost); recovered from PTSD, started a new life in another part of the country, etc.
Now I’m stressed out (that’s a joke) about how to write about stress, because these fabulous health experts had so many ideas that I just couldn’t put all their tiips into one blog post. Because they shared so many brilliant suggestions, I decided to turn this into a series of blog posts about stress.
“…maybe all you have to do is not be stressed about your stress,” Alan pointed out. “Those who see it as excitement seem to bypass the physiological damage.”
He then suggested that you and I watch McGonigal’s 2013 TED talk, “How to Make Stress Your Friend,” which is one of the 20 Most Viewed TED talks of all time, with 10 million views. The author of the Upside of Stress points out that the goal is not to get rid of stress but to get better at understanding, embracing and using it.
3 Easy Ways to Find Out About Your Cravings -- Your Motivating Monday
Tired of having aggravating cravings for processed, sugary, salty, fatty sort-of foods or processed carbs? To get to the other side of your huge cravings, the first thing you need to do is listen to them, because your cravings can be your teachers.
You may be thinking, “Huh? Why would I want to listen to my cravings? They’ve only taken me down a dark path to bingeing desserts and processed carbs.”
But here’s the thing: To get to the other side of your cravings, you need to give them both the respect and attention that they deserve.
Here’s what’s interesting about cravings. They’re often smart—that is, if they’re not activated by environmental cues such as a brightly lit, enticing fast food restaurant, donut shop or fresh popcorn at the movie theater.
These days, I’ve come to respect my cravings now that my unhealthy cravings for processed carbs have vanished. (My sugar cravings have been long gone.)
Nowadays, the cravings I get are healthy so I listen to them. And that’s what I want for you, too. For instance:
Sometimes I eat at strange times. For instance, today, I craved a lunch-like snack at 10 am. (My body evidently needed lunch early.)
Then, from time to time, when I’m at Whole Foods, I crave Mom’s Chicken Soup—that’s actually the name—but I want no other foods. No salads. No vegetables. All I want is the soup. (I’ve come to respect this craving which I’ve gotten a lot since losing my mother. Clearly, this is a huge emotional craving, which strike around various holidays or birthdays.)
In addition, sometimes I really crave free-range, organic meats. Or I may crave the reverse—I want is a nutritious vegetarian shake with half an avocado, protein powder, chia seeds, carob powder, cinnamon and no fruits. (That was my strange dinner tonight. Well, that and a sugar-free turkey stick.)
So here are 3 Easy Ways to Listen to Your Cravings and to determine if they’re unhealthy or healthy.
First, when you get a craving, ask yourself: “Is this a real bodily craving or an unhealthy, environmentally activated craving?” If it’s the former, then you can act on it. But often, especially if you’re out and about in our junk-food jungle, you’re just being triggered by seeing candies, cookies or chips, then you’re having an unhealthy craving.
Next, consider the consequences of acting on your cravings. Ask yourself, “Will eating this [fill in the name of the food] nourish and energize me or diminish and deplete me?” Then go a little further. Ask your inner guide, “Will eating those chips, crackers or candies make me angry or upset with myself?” You’re smart. You know exactly what will happen if you let your dangerous cravings rule you.
Now’s the time to act on your craving, but in a good way. Ask yourself, “What do I really crave?” Your inner guide is smart. It knows. So ask yourself, “Do I crave a walk outside near nature? Do I crave a conversation with a good friend? Do I crave sleep because I’m tired?”
First, every Thursday and some Mondays (for Your Motivating Monday or Cravings-Crushing Monday), you’ll get a motivating Shareable Quote or a Clever Cartoon on my blog. See one of my favorite cartoons, Sugar Killing You? (It illustrates Sweets in a Coffin!)
Plus, at any time, visit the Shareable Images and Cartoons section on my blog to see motivating quotes from gurus (both living and long gone) about how to overcome your obstacles. See your challenges as stepping stones to a better place and embrace vibrant health. You’ll also find my quotes on how to Crush Your Cravings. And you’ll get provocative Sugar Shock Cartoons from cartoonist Isabella Bannerman. Then spread the image love to your friends, colleagues and loved ones.
Of course, images, especially in this day and age, grab us like nothing else. In fact, did you know that our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text? No wonder we say that a picture is worth 1,000 words. (It’s actually worth more than that.)
Ultimately, I became intrigued by how humor could help people chuckle, rise above their challenges and improve their health. So I then began to scout out laugh-out-loud quotes from well-known comedians and humorists.
So now the time has come to motivate, encourage you and spur you to humor, self-reflection and positive transformation using the image-sharing revolution, which I can do now, thanks to valuable members of my team.
It's Time to Face the Sour Facts about Sweets -- New Sugar Shock Cartoon
Is sugar killing you?
It’s time to be dramatic. This cartoon dishes the facts — admittedly, bluntly — that sweets and processed carbs, including licorice, cookies, chocolate cake, ice cream, popcorn, soda and French fries can, in fact, send you to an early grave.
Think I’m exaggerating in this cartoon from the talented Isabella Bannerman?
Unfortunately, I’m not.
When you eat too many candies, soft drinks, and processed carbs, you could get:
Does your diet look like the question mark to your left or the one to your right?
Now, take a guess… What percentage of your diet do you think comes from processed breads, pizza, donuts, buns or chips?
So what’s your processed foods figure?
If you’re like most Americans, more than half of your diet comes from ultra-processed foods. So found a study in the peer-reviewed medical journal, BMJ during which 9317 were surveyed, more than half of people’s foods (57.9 percent) are “ultra-processed.”
The researchers, who were from the University of São Paulo in Brazil and Tufts University in Boston, defined “ultra-processed” foods as: “Industrial formulations of several ingredients, which besides salt, sugar, oils and fats, include substances not used in culinary preparations, in particular additives used to imitate sensorial qualities of minimally processed foods and their culinary preparations.”
Why is it so troubling that 57.9 percent of your diet comes from ultra-processed foods?
First, ultra-processed foods account for almost all added sugars that Americans eat—almost 90 percent.
Second, as this study points out, ultra-processed foods “displace more nutrient-dense foods” — meaning, bye-bye, real foods such as cucumbers, celery and avocados, hello, nutrient-poor, unreal junk foods.
Third, ultra-processed foods make you “overfed and undernourished,” as the study observes. That’s not a recipe for good health.
Then, all those processed carbs you’re eating quickly metabolize into sugar so you’re getting far more sugar than you realize.
Then, your high intake of both sweeteners and sugars from processed foods can — as I shared in my books, Sugar Shock and Beyond Sugar Shock — increase your risk of weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes; higher serum triglycerides, high blood cholesterol; higher blood pressure; stroke; coronary heart disease; cancer; and much more.
Now for less-obvious conclusions, which come from my new insights into cravings:
The more processed foods you consume, the more you’ll get cravings for sugar, carbs, fat and salt.
Then, you’ll eat more processed junk foods.
And you’ll gain more weight….
The alarming result: Hello, disease, bye-bye, good health.
So what’s the big takeaway?
Eliminate or drastically cut out processed foods, and you’ll cut your cravings, take back your power and peel off your excess weight.
Easy Ways to Take Charge -- Cravings-Crushing Monday:
What can you do when your cravings are making you want to gobble an entire package of cookies or crackers?”
“Delay, Distract & Detach to Crush Your Cravings.” – Connie Bennett, The Cravings Ninja
One of the most simple, but powerful strategies to prevent yourself from overeating, gaining weight and then regretting what you’ve done is to Delay, Distract and Detach.
Almost anyone (even your kids, under your guidance) can master this process. And always, an hour or two later and the next morning, you’ll feel so relieved that you didn’t cave into your cravings!
I first learned the magic of Delaying, Distracting and Detaching in 1998 when I kicked sweets and simple carbs on doctor’s orders. I used this remarkable technique again in 2012 when I got Crazy Cravings after the death of my mother. And to this day, I love this powerful process, because it’s so super-simple, effortless and darn effective.
Now discover 7 ways this Delay, Distract, Detach Strategy can become your remarkable ally to pull the plug on your cravings.
When that bag of cookies or chips calls out to you, first delay and distract for 5 minutes, then 10 minutes. Soon, you’ll be able to detach from your craving and realize that you really don’t want to stuff your face with cookies or chips; you’d much rather lose weight.
This easy technique allows you to temporarily ignore and then focus on what you’re really craving. Ask yourself: “Am I just thirsty? Do I need protein? Did I get enough fat today?”
Think about how doing nothing will make you powerful and in control. While you Delay, Distract and Detach, realize that you’re taking positive, health-promoting action by taking simple inaction.
Talk about a great time to do chores around the house or office! When you Delay and Distract for 5 to 15 minutes, you can Detach while you wash the dishes, hang up clothes in your closet or organize papers on your desk.
When a craving hits, instead of caving in, you can take some vital me time. Go for a brisk or stroll in nature or around the block. Talk to a co-worker or loved one. Or watch a fascinating 18-minute TED Talk. (Make sure no sugary, salty, fatty carb nibbles are on your desk.)
This simple Delay, Distract, Detach Process invites you to get in touch with your true feelings. What the heck is really going on that makes these quickie carbs so tantalizing to you? Are you stressed out, angry, nervous, hormonal or sad?
Remember that this easy simple Delay, Distract, Detach Process will help you take back your power and take pride in yourself within minutes! You’ll be so glad that you put off a short-lived, self-defeating, immediate gratification in favor of a long-term positive outcome. Trust me, it’s really exciting and exhilarating to feel in control of your cravings!
The next time you venture out into the junk-foods jungle, put this 4 1/4-by-6-inch PDF into your handbag, briefcase or fanny pack.
Then whenever you’re at a supermarket, drug store or work cafeteria, you can pick one of three fast tactics to Crush Your Cravings On the Go™.
Just take at least 30 seconds — or maybe as long at 3 minutes — to ditch your urges for junk foods.So why did I create this small Cravings-Crushing, Quick-Start Guide?
Think about it. Most cravings pounce on you when you’re out and about and on the go, right?
So right then and there, when processed, fattening cookies, chips or crackers beckon, you need to get fast, quick, super-simple support at your fingertips — especially if you can’t reach your best friend, sweetie or cravings buddy.
FYI, you’ll be sent to a special sign-up page and then you’ll get a link to a portable document (see sample on your left). Then, print out your Crush Your Cravings On the Go Guide to take with you in your bag and to rely on while you’re enticed by junk foods.