It is easy to get stuck and enormously difficult to get “un-stuck”, especially when it comes to your health.  In discussing a patients weight loss goals this week she had a very insightful realization…until she commits to whatever she is doing she will not have results.  Sounds simple but it’s true.  Until you commit and stay committed to any goal you set, you won’t achieve it  So many people start a really good diet and exercise program but get discouraged because they hadn’t lost weight within a few weeks.  They usually feel better but their goal of losing weight wasn’t happening so they quit, eat more and gain weight.  Sound familiar?

What about cravings?  They just keep calling your name sabotaging all the good work you are doing.  One of our patients recently lost 20 pounds all because she was able to combat her cravings.

What is it going to take to get un-stuck with your health goals?  READ ON for 5 tips to combat cravings and 2 tips on how to set yourself up for success with your goals…

  1.       Change your goal.  Let’s take weight loss for example.  Instead of focusing on losing weight, change your goal to how you would FEEL to lose weight.  What will you be able to do that you cannot do right now?  Maybe it’s get down on the floor to play with the kids.  How would that make you feel if you were able to do that?  What about getting into your favorite pair of jeans?  How would that feel.  Whatever you want to accomplish focus on that feeling you will get having accomplished your goal (not the weight loss).  Doing this simple shift of attention helps you tap into some feel good vibes that when you actually start down the path toward your goal you will hopefully be so tapped into you feeling good that this will be enough to help you continue to do what it takes to achieve your goal.
  2.      Community:  Surround yourself with people with like-minded goals.  If you hang out every morning at the donut shop with your friends it will be really hard to turn down those donuts.  Yes, this was an extreme example but if all of your friends are in the same boat as you are then the entire group needs a shift.  If they aren’t on board then be sure and put yourself in a place to get support and find new friends to help you achieve your goals.  Grab a friend/spouse and ask them to go for a walk.  Start sharing healthy recipes.  Join an exercise class to make more connections.  You need a community to get un-stuck so figure out what that community looks like.
  3.       Cravings are a challenge to work thru because they will sabotage your weight loss goal every single day.  I have found several culprits for cravings.
    1.      Low serotonin – serotonin is a neurochemical that is mostly made in your gut.  When serotonin levels get low we crave sugar like no tomorrow.  This is why it is so important to have a healthy gut!  You can take supplements to boost serotonin (as long as you are not taking any serotonin inhibitor anti-depressants (SSRI) and the cravings usually disappear.  Also, working on gut health helps address this problem, too.  If you have bloating, diarrhea, constipation among other symptoms then your sugar cravings might be because of poor gut health.
    2.       Sugar cycle – sugar is one of the most addictive substances out there (yes, even more than many drugs).  Have you ever noticed when you grab one M&M you can’t stop?  The way to break this cycle is stop eating anything with sugar in it for at least one week.  Doing a one week detox is the fastest way to break this cycle.  The key is when you finish the week you don’t go back because the minute you have sugar again you will crave it again.  Make some shifts in what you reach for.  For example, instead of reaching for milk chocolate try some dark chocolate.  It will appease your sugar craving without sending the signal for give me more.
    3.       Hidden signals – high carbohydrate foods like baked potatoes, rice and many breads will get converted into sugar once you have eaten it.  This starts that vicious sugar craving cycle.  How many times after eating pasta are you then hunting for something sweet?  Cut back on the quantities of these foods and pair them with protein and good fats and this will help decrease that signal.  This is one of the reasons a gluten free diet works so well is because as long as you aren’t replacing it with a bunch of gluten free alternatives (which are often made from rice) you are decreasing the carbohydrates.
    4.      Habits – they have shown that if every time you get in the car you reach for a cigarette then when you try to stop smoking the simple act of being in a car makes it very difficult.  The same thing is with food.  The first step is recognizing when you are just reflex eating and start trying to shift those habits.  Instead of reaching for food maybe grab a glass of water or do a lap around the house.  Think of creative ways to shift the habits but you have to recognize you are doing it in the first place in order to work on breaking it.
    5.      Yeast – Lately I have seen more and more people struggle with losing weight because they have a yeast overgrowth.  Once we address the yeast then weight loss is so much easier!  If you have lots of bloating, sugar makes you feel bad or have had frequent vaginal or oral yeast infections then yeast might be the culprit.  Sometimes, yeast is tricky.  I have had some patients who had ZERO gut symptoms so it was a shock to us all that yeast was the culprit.
Ask the Doctor:  Dealing with Recurrent UTI's

Now, more than ever it is time to get healthy.  Nobody can do this for you.  You have to take the first step and just keep taking step after step.  Get support and if you need help reach out to us and we will help you in every way we can!

To your health,

Laura