Friday, January 24, 2014

Food Cravings

So what causes food cravings, and how does one get rid of them?
I have talked about this before, and there is a lot of chit chat, possible causes, partial causes, but after I remove all the usual suspects, I am still left with cravings. So WTF, does no one understand these damn cravings?

The usually causes, to much carbohydrates, hyperpalatablity, endorphins, exocannopioids, have all been removed and the cravings remain. Are these just my natural state?

The net shows not much. This is a sampling of what the net shows. Blah. blah. blah. blah....
Then we have true but useless information like this http://addiction-dirkh.blogspot.ca/2014/01/drug-craving-or-how-to-be-your-own.html .
Then we have the illusion of a cure like http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-facts-about-food-cravings  but these are carbohydrate induced cravings.
more blah http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/craving/201304/5-facts-about-food-cravings-you-shouldn-t-ign
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_craving

Then there are books around like


Turning to the Classics: Socrates, one interpretation--- On Justice

Indignation and appetite have to be subordinated to reason but not by force or suppression, instead, they must be shaped by education so as to be receptive to appropriate rational decisions, with spirited indignation trained to support the rule of reason rather than rebel against it, and the appetites pruned to avoid excessive indulgence going beyond what reason prescribes. The result of the other is to enslave the best part of him to the worst.

Perhaps it is back to spuds and eggs, beef and cabbage, beef and cabbage. All else is not food.

8 comments:

valerie said...

For particular cravings, I find that abstinence works. If I stop eating a given food completely, the desire fades away.

My problem is more with hunger in general: when any food seems appealing, and the desire to eat (something, anything) becomes more urgent and frequent.

Eating "hyperpalatable" foods regularly (heck, even occasionally) gives me cravings problems. I find this problem relatively easy to deal with. Calorie restricition and weight loss clearly give me hunger issues. I find that problem much harder to deal with.

tess said...

Fred, have you ever shared how much animal protein you eat per day? just curious....

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Fred - eggs yes, beef, yes, cabbage yes, but spuds NO not for me.

Food cravings are so hard to ignore, but I can now say that after five years or more of not eating sugary things I do not crave them. Am I different? I don't know. What I do know is that if I should now eat too much sugar/carbohydrates which are really the same thing it makes me feel un-well. It's like they are poisoning my body. I therefore keep to my menu plan.

It's ham and eggs for me in the morning .... it's almost 11.30pm as I type this!

All the best Jan

FredT said...

Hi Valerie, Tess, & Jan: People keep telling me that cravings fade away. I call bullshit. It has not happened. They are stronger, but less frequent.

Hunger, I have dealt with. Without that pit of starch in the mornings, the hunger is bad, but I fry up about 100-150 gms of potatoes with my two morning eggs, and that last about 5-6 hours. ~< 60 C/hr therefore OK.

Lunch and supper is typically 100-150 gm fish/chicken/pork/beef, most frequently beef, and some king of vegetable(s). Cabbage, raw is the most satiating.

It seems there are two sources of cravings, physiological, and psychological. Teasing the type out is not so easy. Curing is not talked about that I have found yet.

I am trying to quite dairy now, but cheese, fruit, nuts, and butter are always around. There is no escape. Always there for temptation factor.

FredT said...



“How many things there are in the world of which Diogenes has no need!”
Same Diogenes as
http://philosophyforchange.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/cynic-simplicity-the-courage-to-think/

tess said...

SOME cravings go away for SOME of us -- it has become so clear to me that each of us IS a unique snowflake!

I was curious about where in the range you eat of grams of PROTEIN a day. to me, yours sounds quite low -- only about 50g, but again, we all have different tolerances. have you ever tried eating around a pound -- 450g -- of meat a day?

Omar S. Manejwala, M.D. said...

One problem with cravings management is that the causes are complex, they vary at times often unpredictably, and it's very rarely one thing that causes them. Foods, hormones, memories, stress, genetics, emotions (shame, fear etc), are just a few of the causes. Every few years someone will sell a new diet book that says to stop eating ______. (Sugar, carbs, gluten, who knows what it will be next year).

In the end, ingredient subtraction alone will not suppress cravings. Only a comprehensive approach that addresses emotions, behaviors, triggers, cognitive distortions, and yes eating behaviors will work. We don't have all the answers yet, but I can promise you that it isn't the next magic Hollywood ingredient subtraction.

Nice post btw.

FredT said...

Omar: Yes, but the subtraction has got rid of about 1/2 the carvings and 50+Kgs. (physiological induced cravings) It is the maintenance phase that is the issue. I can never get away from the cuing, and continual advertisements. (environmental induced cravings) I have dealt with much of the psychological and philosophical issues, but some of the cravings remain. I now believe that my cravings are a modern western cultural issue and are trained in; So the psychologists also are training these in. Thanks for writing your book. It confirmed much of what I knew.