Using Balance to Control Sugar Cravings
By Allison Castle
So how do we find the balance to control sugar cravings?
To explore using balance as a method to control sugar cravings we need to look at food as more than calories, grams of fat, carbs, and protein. As a Holistic Health Coach, I have learned to look at food in many different ways. One of those ways is a really cool concept when thinking about food is called the energetics of food.
This is based on Eastern philosophy and is derived from watching human behavior when food is taken into the body. I love this concept because when I work with a client I want them to tune into how particular foods make them feel when they eat it.
An easy way to think about the energy of food is to think about the concept of yin and yang, the Chinese system of opposites. The concept is pretty simple-it’s looking at the world in pairs: dark, light, night, day, hot, cold, etc.
YIN-is the female energy. In food, yin energy is represented in alcohol, sugar, and fruits. These foods are considered expansive; they make you feel light, relaxed and happy. But when you eat too many yin foods you may start to feel spacey or a little forgetful.
YANG-refers to masculine energy. Yang foods are very contracting. Examples of these are salt, meat, and eggs. These are the kinds of foods that put “meat on your bones”. They make you feel grounded and focused. But when you eat too many you start to feel tight, agitated and perhaps even angry.
I have included this interesting chart showing the spectrum of food this theory.
So how does this relate to sugar cravings?
If life is a system of opposites and your body is always trying to balance itself out, what do you think happens if you are having too many yang foods like salt, meat, and eggs? What might your body start craving to balance itself out? It will crave the opposite of yang foods-it will crave sweet, expansive yin foods.
Do you find that if you have something salty like chips you crave something sweet afterward?
That is the challenge if we have too many yang foods we will crave the yin. If we have too many yin foods we will crave the yang. So it is interesting that we are often times creating our cravings without even realizing it.
So we look for balance in what we eat but many times also need to find balance in other areas of our life. We can look at activities in our life through the lens of yin and yang.
There are things that happen in your life that are a little more yang-they create more tension. And then there are things that are more yin-they create more relaxation. Yang activities could be excessive workouts, partying, staying up late. When you have too many Yang activities you are going to crave more Yin activities because you need relaxation. If you don’t allow yourself to relax then you will find yourself binging on wine, chocolate, bread, desserts. Your body is begging for a break, like sleep, reading, meditation, walking, taking a bath. If you have had a really stressful day-what do you crave? Sweets or a glass (maybe a bottle) of wine-yin foods to balance out the yang activities. That craving is your body trying to balance itself out again.
Can you relate? Cravings after eating certain foods? Cravings after a stressful event at work or home?
Are you ready to find the balance in your life?