Today I want to talk to you about one of the things that makes “sticking” with a healthy eating plan so hard –
We all get them from time to time… and when they hit, watch out!
Cravings for lots of folks can be the end of them when it comes to nutrition and dieting. But new research shows us how we can help tone down cravings by NOT skipping one simple “thing…”
Nothing can derail your best diet efforts faster than caving into a craving.
That’s why the more you learn about what causes them and what you can do to ward them off – the better off you’ll be.
Recent research suggests that skipping one important meal can cause you to cave into cravings throughout the rest of the day.
Can you guess what that one meal is? (I’ll wait…)
Now before I give you the details of the study, it’s important you understand what causes cravings in the first place.
Psychological factors aside, the primary “driver” behind cravings is the hormone ghrelin.
High levels of ghrelin in your stomach tell your brain to be HUNGRY. When ghrelin levels are high, we tend to overeat because we can’t seem to get enough.
Likewise, when ghrelin levels are low, we feel satisfied. Similar to how you feel AFTER you’ve indulged in the food you were craving.
So in this study, researchers recruited healthy individuals who were NOT obese.
Here’s how they set up the experiment.
Participants were asked to come into the lab on three separate mornings.
Each time, they were say in front of a display that contained pictures of fatty foods (think cake, chocolate, burgers, pizza, etc) or healthy foods (veggies, salads, fish, etc.) Then, as they looked at each picture they had to rate how appealing that food looked to them.
Now here’s where it gets interesting…
One third of the participants were asked to eat breakfast before arriving. Once they were at the lab they were injected with a saltwater (placebo) solution 40 minutes before they looked at the screen with the high calorie and low calorie foods.
Another third of the participants were asked to skip breakfast before arriving at the lab. They were still given the saltwater solution 40 minutes before looking at the food pictures.
The final third of the participants were asked to eat breakfast before showing up. However THIS time they injected them with the hormone ghrelin 40 minutes before looking at the photos.
To keep everything controlled, the researchers did not know whether they were injecting the subjects with saltwater or ghrelin. Also, the subjects weren’t told whether the injection was saltwater or ghrelin.
So what did the researchers find out?
For starters, when subjects had breakfast and were injected with the saltwater they preferred the low calorie foods.
When subjects skipped breakfast and were injected with saltwater, they preferred that fatty foods.
And for the kicker –
When they ATE breakfast and were injected with ghrelin, they found the high-calorie (fatty) foods more appetizing.
The lesson to be learned?
DON’T skip breakfast. Doing so may be the equivalent of injecting yourself with the “hunger” hormone ghrelin. And that means more cravings throughout the day.
And by the way … if you’re serious about taking your health and fitness to the next level, why not take advantage of your FREE Nutrition Consultation. (an $87 value)
During this consult, you’ll receive detailed information on how to get fit and trim that’s tailored to YOUR body.