Help with Cravings

June 4, 2018

To stop your food cravings, you first have to find out what is at the root of your cravings. Have you ever thought that maybe your cravings aren’t due to lack of will power, but could be caused by a vitamin or mineral deficiency? Listen is as we discuss the root cause of many common cravings from chocolate to carbs.

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DAR: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. I am Darlene Kvist. I'm a certified nutrition specialist and I've been the host of Dishing Up Nutrition for the past 14 years and those 14 years have been great, flying right by. Also every day or every other day or maybe two days a week, something like that, I meet with clients and so I'm able to hear what health issues clients are struggling with and what help they need to get over these issues. So every week I hear a variety of health concerns from clients and one very common one that we hear is "I can't sleep through the night." So recently we reviewed and discussed the book, Why We Sleep by Dr. Matthew Walker.

SHELBY: Yes. And if you missed that show, you can listen to that as a podcast on are Dishing Up Nutrition app or from our website

DAR:  I think it was a great one.

SHELBY:  I agree. I learned a lot which is always helpful. And as nutritionists we can help you with your sleep problems, which in turn may also help you resolve other health issues that you may be experiencing.

DAR: Other things that clients are concerned about and they share their frustrations when they sit down with us and one of them is they have a slow metabolism and they just can't lose weight. So on June 16, Carolyn and Kara will be talking about how stress slows the metabolism.

SHELBY: That'll be one to mark on your calendars. Make sure you don't miss that. And Dar, another concern we often hear from our clients is about their aches and pains, whether that's knee pain or hip pain. So on July 28, you also want to mark your calendars, because we will have a special guest on our show who will offer suggestions on how to reduce aches and pains with both food, right? We always say food first, but also talking about some key supplements. 

DAR: One of the other big, big, big stressors for our clients is they're out of control food cravings. They have sugar cravings or coffee mocha cravings and they often hit around 3:00 in the afternoon. Or they have potato chip or popcorn cravings as they're sitting watching TV in the evening. Some people crave M&M's or cookies, while other people crave bread or pasta. So if you're struggling with cravings we have several recommendations today on Dishing Up Nutrition to slow down those cravings and we call it our crave control lifestyle. Shelby and I want to help you realize that you're cravings start with your personal biochemistry. That's kind of a new concept for a lot of people, but it is really important to understand that you just can't will away your cravings because you have to balance your biochemistry.

SHELBY: You can be sure that we're going to be talking about a lot of different things that contribute to cravings this morning, but to stop your cravings, you first have to realize that the root of your cravings is that your biochemistry is off balance.  So you may be thinking to yourself…

DAR:  What does that really mean? I mean, a lot of people are going to say, tell me what does that mean?

SHELBY: Yeah, so here's one example that I like to give people Dar, when someone craves something sweet after a meal, you know, maybe a chocolate chip cookie or maybe just a little Hershey kiss, just something sweet after a really nice meal that is often caused by a zinc deficiency.

DAR: How do you make that connection? A zinc deficiency and craving a sweet after meal. Interesting, isn't it?

SHELBY: Yeah. When, when I asked people about that, you know, once they start to think more about zinc, their cravings for desserts go away and they think, “well, gosh, if I would have known it was that simple.” So if you think about your basic biochemistry being out of balance, you will have food cravings, so it's not an emotional thing, but rather biochemistry. How freeing is that for many of our clients to realize it's not an emotional issue. It's actually a

DAR: Biochemical issue

SHELBY: Down to the cells. That may be a new thought or some new information for our listeners this morning. Good morning, I'm Shelby Hummel. I have a master's degree in applied clinical nutrition and I'm a licensed nutritionist that practices what I preach, which means that I cook and I eat and I love eating real food.

DAR: And you said this morning before we started the show that you are going home to plant more garden?

SHELBY: Yes. Tyler actually is probably heading back from the farmer's market with some of our peppers and tomatoes right now.

DAR: Sounds good. So real food. Now listeners, if you have a chocolate craving, I'm happy to tell you chocolate cravings are easy to eliminate. If you have chocolate cravings or muscle cramps or charley horses, or eye twitches, that's all an indication that you are deficient in the mineral magnesium. We talk a lot about magnesium on the show. Most people need to take between 400 to 600 milligrams of magnesium to calm the chocolate cravings, but also to calm their muscle cramps. Magnesium is also very helpful if you're struggling with constipation. And many of our clients tell me that if they take four to six capsules of Mixed Magnesium every day, they no longer battle with constipation. And guess what? Their chocolate cravings go away.

SHELBY: Well it's interesting Dar, because I always remind people that magnesium is our relaxation mineral. You can see how it can relax the muscles in the foot or the leg, relax the bowel muscles, but magnesium is also really relaxing for sleep. It can be a very powerful sleep aid. And I love hearing this, but last week one of my Nutrition 4 Weight Loss participants pulled me aside after class to share that she was finally able to sleep through the entire night. Really, she was thrilled. She told me that a few of the things that she did, first of all, she had that balanced snack before bed, but she thinks that the big hitter was she upgraded her magnesium supplement to that highly absorbable magnesium glycinate and instead of just taking one or two, she started taking four of those tablets at bedtime. She was thrilled. She didn't wake up throughout the night and wasn't staring at the ceiling.

DAR: You know, and I've heard that before from other clients once they started taking the right form of magnesium, it works.

SHELBY: Exactly. Exactly. So if you are experiencing problems sleeping or those chocolate cravings, I suggest you start by taking 300 to 400 milligrams of magnesium glycinate before bed and increase that, feel free to increase that, if you feel like you need more for that relaxation.

DAR: Sure, some people need to take 600, a few people need to take 800. But it's all healthy for people.

SHELBY:  And by taking that magnesium, your chocolate cravings can be a thing of the past and I always tell people it's best to take those minerals like magnesium and calcium, zinc or selenium at bedtime because when we sleep, that's when those minerals are best absorbed.

DAR: So you know, many of our clients tell us that they're craving for the biggest barrier they have that keeps them from eating healthier. They know better, but their cravings and keep them doing better. So let me ask you a question listeners, do you suffer from cravings? You know, if you nodded your head yes and you rolled your eyes and said, that's me. Let me tell you, you're not alone. And it was when I was preparing for the show, it was really shocking to learn that a hundred percent of young women and 70 percent of young men admitted to experiencing food cravings and the past year.

SHELBY: What does that say?

DAR: A lot of food cravings.

SHELBY: A lot of food cravings, so let's talk about the question that many of our clients ask themselves, why do I have cravings? Then they must say, well, I don't have any willpower. I must be a weak willed person because I just start to lose weight and then the cravings takeover. And they feel out of control.  So they must, they're thinking to themselves, I must have no willpower because I give into those cravings.

DAR: Shelby, I always call that blame the victim.

SHELBY: Dar, we're going to talk about cravings a little bit more but we're going to take our first break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition and this morning we are discussing how you can control your food cravings. There are many biochemical reasons for cravings. I alluded to one misconception that we have. One misconception that we have about cravings is that it's an emotional issue rather than a biochemical problem. So keep listening this morning because it might actually be related to what you're eating for breakfast or rather what you're not eating for breakfast, that could contribute to you craving processed carbohydrates later in the day. Perhaps it's time for you to take a fresh look at your cravings and find a solution on the other side of this first break Dar I will be talking more about that. We'll be right back.

DAR: Well, welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I'm Darlene Kvist and I'm in studio here today with Shelby Hummel. We're both licensed and experienced nutritionists and we want to answer questions you may have about your cravings. So if you're willing to give us a call at 651-641-1071. Often there's a simple solution to cravings. Let's talk about our cravings and give us a call.

SHELBY: We're talking about cravings and, and really looking at the idea that cravings are related to something with our biochemistry. Something internally is off balance. And a few of the things that we hear from people is, well, I must not have any willpower if I have cravings, I'm just not strong enough to say no to them. 

DAR: Yes. So we're going to repeat this over and over because it goes against what people have heard for the last 30 years. Cravings are not a result of weak will. Often clients say they have a weak will, they have lack of self-control, they don't have any discipline and it leads to a lot of frustration. And then it leads to low self-esteem because they feel like failures. When I'm working with clients, and I'm sure you do this Shelby to, we try to encourage them to understand that it's really a biochemical reason that they have food cravings. It's not emotional and it's not from being weak willed. It's biochemical.

SHELBY: It's down at that biochemistry level.

DAR: But a lot of times you have to dig deep to figure that out.

SHELBY: So Dar we have someone that's taking us up on our offer. Let's take a caller. Good morning, Christy, you have a question for us?

CALLER: I do, thank you for taking my call. I am totally addicted to diet pop and I want to stop drinking it and I did when I was pregnant and now I'm 49 now and I just can't seem to give it up and I wondered if you had any suggestions or reasons for that.

DAR: Well, Shelby just jump in anytime, I'll start. You know, diet pop is very, very addicting for many, many, many people, actually more addicting than sugar pop. So a couple of ways to look at that, what is the biochemistry be behind that? It's probably a something, a brain, what I call a brain biochemistry. You're probably lacking in one of the neurotransmitters

SHELBY: Brain chemicals.

DAR: Brain chemicals. Then I would look at something that is called dopamine. That's one of the neurotransmitters and that's one when we're low on dopamine, we often crave chemicals, you know, we crave things like diet pop. So how do you get more dopamine into your brain? Well, believe it or not dopamine comes from eating meat and eggs. So through the day it would make sense for you probably four, five, even six times a day, you eat a small amount of protein with your other like vegetable carbohydrates, healthy fat, and you drink lots of water because when you hydrate your brain it works better. So that's kind of where I would go Christy. When you think about it, when do you have most of those?

SHELBY: That's what I was going to ask. When do you find yourself wanting that diet soda?

CALLER: Well I have a habit of, it's always caffeine free, which doesn't make it, I don't know if that's here nor there. I have one in the morning when I wake up and then I drink green tea. I drink teas during the day. And then around like 3:00 until I go to bed and I have one like on my nightstand and I drink it throughout the night.

DAR: Well here's another thought since you gave us more information, and that's what we talk about when we're working with clients who have to keep digging deeper and asking them more questions. When you said that, my guess is that you are actually calming your anxiety. You know, it's so interesting that when we wake up in the morning we are supposed to be sort of alert but a little bit maybe just a little anxious if we are producing more of those brain chemicals than we need. I mean sometimes it doesn't make a lot of sense when I say this, but actually we have a little bit of anxiety when we wake up. And so you're looking to that diet pop to calm, kind of calm that anxiety. So here's another option for you. I don't know if you've ever heard of something that is called l-theanine. L-theanine is a supplement that is actually made from green tea. It's extremely helpful and safe and so what I would have you do is take a couple of l-theanine when you first wake up in the morning and drink two glasses of water.

SHELBY:  And then eat a balanced breakfast.

DAR:  Yes. And I think what will happen is those cravings will go away and obviously your anxiety goes up toward the end of the day, you know, like after 3:00 in the afternoon. And so again, I would probably take some l-theanine then. Now you're not going to have to do this forever. I mean we're looking at this maybe for four weeks, possibly six weeks and then the cravings will go away and you won't need this.

CALLER: Okay, awesome.

DAR:That's how we would work with somebody with cravings and you know, what it is, it's totally individual for each person.

CALLER:Okay, great. Thank you so much.

SHELBY:Okay. Alright, thanks for your call this morning.

DAR:Yes. Great caller.

SHELBY: And it's complex and that's, that's really what we're trying to highlight today is that it's not a one size fits all for people, you know, cravings are that biochemical response to imbalances in the body. And Dar, just like you were talking with the last caller, know that imbalance is what drives behavior. So many of our clients are shocked at how easy it is for them to be free of cravings when we get to the root cause of that biochemical imbalance. And basically when you're eating a low calorie, low fat kind of high carb diet, you want to eat more and more.

DAR: And you know, we really, that's, that's how people were told to eat for the last 30, 40 years. But what happens is when we eat a lot of carbs, you know that sugary food, it makes us want to eat more and more and more.

SHELBY: And we hear people say it's one cookie leads to another or it could be, you know, one soda leads to another, leads to another, leads to another.

DAR: When you eat a very low fat, high carb breakfast, such as a bowl of cereal. So Shelby, when you were young, what kind of cereal was your mom giving you?

SHELBY:Actually, I think my dad liked the raisin bran cereal.

DAR: Okay. Well, you know, it sounds healthy.

SHELBY: Has raisins in there.

DAR: But it has a lot of sugar. It turns into a lot of sugar. So you know, when you eat that, I bet you were hungry within an hour later, maybe two, maybe an hour and a half later and you wanted something else. And most people go for a muffin or a donut or a coffee mocha because it's high in sugar. So a low fat breakfast leads to biochemical imbalance, which leads you to crave more sugar. You know, listeners, can you kind of relate? If you're eating that way.

SHELBY: We see this happening a lot with our clients. You know Dar, we have another caller. Do you think we've got some time here to. Yep, we've got a couple of minutes here. So good morning, Jenny, you have a question for us this morning.

DAR:  Good Morning Jenny.

CALLER: Good morning. How are you?

DAR: Great. So your question this morning.

CALLER: I crave salt, I am addicted to chips. And I try to walk away. I'm not a sweet eater at all, but if I see any kind of chip it calls me.

DAR:So when you think you're addicted to salt, my next question is what do you eat that's got a lot of salt?

CALLER: Chips. Potato chips, Doritos mostly, or the sour cream Ruffles.

DAR: My guess is that you're not necessarily addicted to salt, but when you think about chips or pretzels or any of those, those really turned into sugar very fast. I think it's like one or two, no it is 4 chips equal a teaspoon of sugar. Well, who could stop at four chips? Plus they are also cooked in a very bad fat that is very addicting. So it's not the salt that you're addicted to, but you're addicted to the sugar and bad fat. So when you take a look at that. So because you could take a cucumber and you could put salt on it and you might eat one or two, but you wouldn't keep eating and eating and eating like you would a chip. It's a matter of recognizing that it's really probably your blood sugar is a little low and you're looking for that sugar to boost your blood sugar, which will calm your biochemistry. Can  you see that? Go ahead Shelby.

SHELBY: Well, I was going to say, Jenny, we're gonna talk a little bit about, you know, what are some ways that you can balance your blood sugar later in the show. And it is one of those things that like we were talking earlier, eating a little bit more frequently throughout the day can be very helpful for people.


DAR:Does this make any sense to you?

CALLER: It does. It makes a ton of sense. I should also have let you know that I had the Roux-en-Y surgery seven years ago and I did really well for about five years and I haven't gained the weight back, but probably within the last nine months has been the sugar, the chip addiction going crazy.

DAR: Yup. Yup. Well, you know we have so, so much of our food today is processed foods and it either affects our blood sugar or affects our brain chemicals or is it just affects us and it does feel like we're out of control.

SHELBY: Kind of confuses our system a little bit. So stay tuned. We're going to talk about some other ideas.

DAR: Thanks for the call this morning.

SHELBY: Dar, we've got to go to our second break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you want to get rid of your cravings, have more energy and fewer aches and pains, I suggest you sign up for our summer Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program and start eating real food that you buy from the grocery store. You meet once a week to learn that up to date nutrition information to help you eat the Weight & Wellness way and experience a whole new lifestyle around health. One comment we hear by so many of our class participants is that they feel so good. They have so much energy, so if you're interested in taking that Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program called 651-699-3438, or go online at to sign up, be right back.

DAR:  Well, welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Cravings, cravings, cravings. That's what we're talking about today. You know, you feel so out of control. You've tried psychological therapy for emotional eating and yeah, it helped for a short time, but soon afterwards you went right back to your old habits. Then you checked into binge eating disorder clinic. They said you could eat anything you wanted within your calorie limit. That didn't work either because as soon as you eat sugar you wanted more and more and more and more. So why don't these plans really work? You know, because binge eating and outta control cravings are really a brain body response of your own personal biochemistry. Each person has a different biochemistry, so each person tends to have different cravings. You know very well if for most people, if you have a half a Subway sandwich for lunch by 3:00 in the afternoon, your cravings have kicked in for more processed carbs and you want a whole big bag of chips. At Nutritional Weight & Wellness we don't use or even think of this, we don't say one plan fits all for everyone. It doesn't. We have to individualize things.

SHELBY: And ask a lot of questions.

DAR: Our nutritionists and dietitians really will help you learn to eat, to match your personal biochemistry. And so we understand, we get it. So give us a call at 651-699-3438 and sign up for a consultation so that you can get rid of those cravings.

SHELBY: And Dar, one of the things that you said is, you know, craving, craving chips or craving process carbohydrates. I think a lot of people have that misconception that if they're craving chips or crunchy things that that's not related to sugar. But it's interesting that a half of a Subway sandwich breaks down into 17 teaspoons of sugar. So it may not be the inherently sweet things that people are craving. It could be more of the breads and pastas, chips and crackers, things like that.

DAR: And then if we took that concept a little deeper, we could go deeper and deeper with that because it just may be someone that has a craving like that has a gluten sensitivity and then that's another thing that we need to do.

SHELBY: Lots of things. Yeah. And we see a lot of these different scenarios with our clients. You know, we see this happening with friends and family too. And it's not surprising that people are eating a low fat breakfast, are going to have a biochemical imbalance that contributes to them craving sugar research is actually showing and studying those low fat, high carbohydrates and what they do to people. So there's research out of the Journal of Metabolism in December of 2009 and it shows that low fat, high carb diets actually create more food cravings.

DAR: So that was eight years ago when that research was done.

SHELBY: And as we know for the past 40 years, we have been told to eat low fat, high carb to lose weight or to keep the heart healthy, but it's sad to see that the approach of eating low fat high carb has actually fueled even more problems with obesity and more problems with heart disease. However, if we ate more and we're out of control with food cravings, you know, you see those people having problems with their weight and heart disease. So the bottom line of all of this is it's about how food affects your biochemistry. It's not a calorie in calorie out, but those low fat, high carb diets make you want to eat more.

DAR:  So, you know, as parents and grandparents, I think we want to protect our kids and our grandkids from going down that path of cravings and weight gain not to mention heart disease.  Body fat, especially belly fat, it really contains complex metabolic tissue and cells which are critical for regulating your metabolism and it regulates your appetite, your weight. You want to feed your family and yourself foods that prevent you or your family from accumulating extra belly fat. So you have to start thinking about that. And this is true for little boys and little girls and we know that soda is one of the factors that accumulates belly fat very fast.

SHELBY: Definitely. Definitely and Dar, I want to talk a little bit more about what kind of diets put on extra body fat, but we have a caller. Another caller. Good morning Ann you have a question about magnesium for us this morning.

DAR:  Good morning, Ann.

CALLER: Hi. Yeah, I was listening to you and you were saying that magnesium can cause, or get rid of constipation, while I have the muscle cramps and so forth, but I have what I call chronic diarrhea. So that would not probably work for me? Plus I am pre-diabetic.

DAR: Okay. I think one of the things that possibly you could use some magnesium glycinate, which is a form of magnesium that should not cause diarrhea, but I would start with one and then go to two and possibly go to three, but that's probably where you'd have to stop.

CALLER: Okay. And would that be at your North Oaks place?

DAR: Oh, sure. Yep. Yep.

SHELBY: Yep. So that's the magnesium glycinate. That's the one that we find works really well with the muscles and with sleep, relaxing those tissues.

CALLER: Okay. That's great. Maybe I'll stop in there and talk to somebody about it. That sounds interesting, but I didn't want to cause more diarrhea.

DAR:No, no, no.  Absolutely not.

SHELBY: Understandably so. Thank you for your call Ann. Dar we have another caller. Good morning Linda. You have a question for us on Dishing Up Nutrition this morning.

DAR:  Good morning, Linda.

CALLER:Yeah. Hi. My son is vegan and he's complaining about having a lot of cravings for sugar stuff. He tends to have a sweet tooth anyway, but he's kinda swung all over the place with trying different food, I hate to say diets, but plans. So he lived paleo for a while and you now is swinging the other way. I had heard you talking about the idea that you needed more animal in your system, animal food, animal protein to balance things. So what happens on the vegan side of that?

DAR: Well, you know, it throws their biochemistry off more, usually. It's very difficult to get enough good protein with all the amino acids is a vegan. So what happens is then you're not making as much serotonin, which is a great neurotransmitter that makes you feel calm and, or you're not getting enough dopamine which controls of your sugar cravings. And so you have, I mean, the bottom line is you throw your biochemistry off and you have more cravings.

SHELBY: Linda, I would say that if your son is really wanting to have this vegan lifestyle, he probably needs to sit down with a nutritionist to make sure that they're getting enough of those amino acids from plant protein options. But it's a challenge. It's very challenging.

DAR: And I think Linda, the other thing that happens is the longer people are deficient in these amino acids, the more possibility of depression and anxiety and all those things that go down that pathway.

CALLER: Yeah, I was concerned about that. So is it possible for people who have a vegan diet to get all of those amino acids that they need? If you're saying you need animal products once in a while to balance that out?

DAR:Well our preference would be for him to eat some animal protein.

SHELBY: Maybe some fish or some eggs.

DAR: But sometimes you just can't get people to do that. So then it's almost like you have to supplement those amino acids in a supplement form.

CALLER: Yeah. So you don't feel it is even possible or available in plants to get all of the things that balance things out.

DAR: Personally we don't. But you know, I mean I'm sure some vegans that would disagree with us. So we're looking. I mean we, we try to keep things simple, you know, a little bit of animal protein, high quality, yes. And some real good vegetable carbohydrates and some really good healthy fats like butter, olive oil, things like that. And just make life simple because it seems to balance the biochemistry the best.

CALLER: Okay. Are you familiar with the book How Not to Die?

DAR: You know, I'm not and I thought I knew every book.

CALLER: It's one he's picked up and the author is really a strong component of plants only, only only, and this has got him very swayed into that thinking. And I have thought about you and your show and in this book and I wondered if you had heard of this author.

SHELBY: We'll have to check that one out.

CALLER: Mike Greger I think is the author. Yeah. I'd love to hear your thoughts on some of the research he has in it. Thank you so much.

DAR: Thanks for the call. Interesting calls this morning.

SHELBY: Oh, I love it. Well Dar, we're going to take our third break here. We've had so much fun chatting away, but you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. As a nutritionist, I have many tools in my toolbox to help people get control over their cravings. One tool that I use is trying to figure out what a client is willing to eat for breakfast, something that will help stabilize their blood sugar. So Dar had mentioned some high quality protein, some vegetables and fruit carbohydrates and some healthy fats. Another tool that I use is a product called Crave Control Plus, so taking two to three of the Crave Control Plus supplements before each meal, that would be a way to help support that neurotransmitter production.

DAR: And that's exactly what's in that, are the amino acids that we were just talking with Linda about.

SHELBY: Helping the brain chemistry. So the bottom line is we can help. It isn't hopeless. We have helped many people overcome cravings and we understand that there is not a one size fits all. So call 651-699-3438 to set up your individual appointment today.

DAR:  Well, welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. You know, today we're talking about cravings and more than 70 percent of adults are overweight today and we're really considered a nation of cravers.

SHELBY: And boy do food manufacturers know that.

DAR: They do. So, you know, eliminating cravings is critical to freeing overeaters from unhealthy foods. It's like you have to break the chains. When you take our 12 week Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program, you'll meet with a nutritionist for two, one hour appointments and they can help you eliminate your cravings. Sometimes it's very simple. So you've heard us talk about Nutrition 4 Weight Loss Series today and then other on other shows and now finally you've decided it's time to take the Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program. So you have to think what night is best for you? Is it going to be Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night?

SHELBY: Maybe Friday afternoon?

DAR: You know, we've got you covered all of those days. So you have to think again, what's the best location? You know, we have seven different locations that you can take the Nutrition 4 Weight Loss class.

SHELBY:And summer isn't even a concern because if it's more convenient you can take the Online Nutrition 4 Weight Loss and you can connect from the cabin or your lake home.

DAR: That's right. So just, you know, call 651-699-3438 or you can go on our website and go to and you can sign up. So it's the first step.

SHELBY:  It is the first step. And Dar I had a client tell me the other day and our Nutrition 4 Weight Loss consultation that this is the summer of me.

DAR: Oh, that's great.

SHELBY: Isn't that great? She said this is the summer that I'm going to take care of me and I think that the Nutrition 4 Weight Loss is a great way to do that.

DAR: So let's talk about belly fat.

SHELBY: Before we went to our last break, we were looking at what kind of diet puts on extra belly fat. And that would definitely be a high carbohydrate, low fat diet. So biochemically that high carb, low fat diet raises your glucose or your blood sugar, which that actually sends a message to your pancreas to produce more insulin to try to keep that blood sugar under control. So you eat maybe the cereal or the chips that spikes your blood sugar. The pancreas has to shuttle out more insulin to take that blood sugar under control, and all of that extra glucose gets turned into body fat. That's that biochemical response to a high carb, low fat diet.

DAR: Shelby let's tell listeners, when we say high carb, low fat, what are we thinking? You know, the thing that pops into my brain right away is a big bowl of cereal with skim milk. And maybe a piece of toast

SHELBY: With margarine

DAR:  Or no butter at all, or no margarine and jelly and a glass of juice.

SHELBY:  Or a bagel. A bagel is equivalent to about four slices of bread

DAR: And about 14 teaspoons of sugar. So that's what we're talking about and that's how we've been taught to eat. Or the other one that I think about is the low fat yogurt. I mean, but it's got a lot of sugar in it or artificial sugar. So it's low fat, high carb that causes belly fat. So again, if you're eating high carb, low fat foods, you're going to probably have cravings for sugar, you know, and these cravings, it's not emotional, it's biochemical. So if you want to get rid of those blood sugar cravings, here's some ideas that you might want to try rather than eating the cereal that we just talked about with the skim milk, what could you and your family eat? Here's an idea. And I used to do this with my kids all the time. I'd get a piece of whole grain rye bread because we know that rye bread stabilizes blood sugar better.

SHELBY: It doesn't spike it as much. Yep.

DAR: And you put about a half a cup of full fat cottage cheese on top of it.

SHELBY: Important the full fat.

DAR: And a few blueberries. And then you slide it under a toaster oven and it melts together and the blueberries pop and it looks great. So it's really simple. It's a balanced breakfast. Kids love it and no weight gain from it, no cravings and no extra belly fat.

SHELBY:That's interesting Dar, because the other day on a walk, I was talking with a friend and asking her, you know what she feeds her toddler and she was telling me her daughter's new favorite go to breakfast is actually our turkey breakfast sausages from the Weight & Wellness Cookbook. My friend, she just makes them up in advance and then, you know, reheats them in the morning, but while she's reheating them she'll have snap peas, the sugar snap peas or bell pepper strips that her daughter can dip in our ranch dressing recipe and then she'll have some berries or you know, maybe some leftover sweet potato from the night before. But it's interesting because she notices that her daughter has better focus when she has a balanced breakfast in.

DAR: And probably isn't looking for a cookie in an hour.

SHELBY: Isn't asking for a treat in Target or anything out there. So for all your mom's out there, it doesn't have to be cereal for breakfast, it could be some breakfast sausage, some vegetables, some fruit. I know my mom's listening, mom, if you want to make me that breakfast, I'd be happy to have that.

DAR: So when you look at research on carb consumption in kids or even adults? You will find that people who eat more carbs eat more food and were hungry more of the time. That's what all the research says. Eating too many processed carbs make you gain weight while eating fat such as butter or olive oil or avocados helps you lose weight. You know, foods like white rice, bread, muffins, juice, they really promote obesity and overweight and heart disease, inflammation and cravings. So honestly these foods set you up to crave more and more processed foods. Shelby, you mentioned food manufacturers. That's probably why they do that. Because we buy more.

SHELBY: Exactly. Yup. So when we're eating a bagel for breakfast, like I said before, that has the same amount of carbohydrates as four slices of bread.

DAR: And most people would not eat four slices of bread but they'll eat a bagel.

SHELBY:Or a bagel with some jelly on there. That actually sets you up to have more cravings for that bag of M&M's or maybe a mocha or a soda later. So biochemically, anything that's a carbohydrate is going to break down into sugar or glucose in the body, raising that blood sugar and setting you up for that blood sugar roller coaster ride.

DAR: You know, I just mentioned rice, pasta, cereal, bread, even oatmeal will usually drive cravings. That one always surprises people because they think oatmeal is healthy.

SHELBY: Dar as we're thinking about closing on our show, what would be the components of a balanced meal or snack that you recommend for clients?

DAR: Well, we always recommend having some kind of animal protein, two, three, four ounces. Not a 10 ounce steak. That's what we're talking about. A little, some protein. So it might be a pork chop, might be a chicken breast, it might be a piece of salmon. And then don't you think we should have some vegetables?

SHELBY: Definitely sugar snap peas, some asparagus.

DAR:  Some sweet potato, some carrots, some green beans, squash, any of those things.

SHELBY: And then that healthy fat is important. The butter, the olive oil, nuts and seeds or avocados. Well Dar, I wish we could talk more and we're going to have to do another show because we have lots more information about cravings.

DAR: We do.

SHELBY:Our goal at Nutritional Weight & Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It sounds simple, yet it's a powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for listening and have a wonderful day.

DAR: Yes. Thank you listeners. 


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