“I joined the Healthy Transformations program partly to lose some weight but mostly to help with ongoing health issues, like high blood pressure that I wanted to reduce naturally rather than with prescribed medications. The program, Dr. Breen, and Christopher were very helpful in increasing my knowledge about the effects that what I eat has on my health. Now, I have no doubt about what I should be eating and if I am ever in doubt I know that I can reach out anytime, even after the program, for some additional support. I’m happy to say that I have been able to reduce my weight, my blood pressure, inflammation and the glycemic response in my body, largely due to the Healthy Transformations program. Having this knowledge has greatly impacted my food choices and continues to have positive benefits every day.” ~ Peter P
“I joined the healthy transformations program hoping to reduce inflammation, lose weight, and take control of my overall health. Immediately, I was able to adapt to the program and integrate it into my lifestyle. The food was delicious and I felt results much quicker than I expected, not only in my health but my overall well-being and mindset. My mom and I did the program together and our strengthened understanding of the physiological, philosophical and behavioural components of overall nutrition have been incredibly meaningful in our lives. I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone who wants to enhance their understanding of nutrition and strive towards a more positive relationship with food! ” – Anny P
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It may sound like science-fiction to many, but your gut bacteria may have more of an influence than we think. A recent study involving mice and microbiomes shows a link between our gut bacteria and appetite, showing that what we eat today has a future effect on our cravings and hunger tomorrow!
Bugs in our Gut
Our guts are immensely complex systems that contain many species of bacteria; in fact, bacteria genes outnumber human genes by 100 to 1! Many gut bacteria manufacture special genes called peptides that can regulate and influence hunger. An interesting study shows that people who desire chocolate have a different microbial breakdown, despite eating identical diets. Another study shows that mice raised in a germ-free environment prefer more sweets and have more sweet receptors. While more research is needed, this shows how important the food we choose to consume is to not only our overall health but also our craving and food tastes.
But, Our Brains Too?
Scientists have long known that microbes live inside us. Still, it is only recently that science sees a connection between our mental health and microbiome and the role it plays in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and autism.
Evidence shows that the bacteria in our stomachs influence our minds, also contributing to depression and isolating feelings. Scientists discovered differences in the amygdala, a region that is responsible for processing social emotions, between mice and germ-free mice. One study shows that mice that were given fecal transplants from depressed humans also became ‘depressed,’ giving up when captured much earlier than the control mice, showing how our gut microbiomes influence our mental state.
Additional studies show that children with autism have different patterns of microbial species in their stool, signifying that there is a link between our stomachs and our minds. As much of the studies have yet to prove cause and effect fully, more research is needed. Still, scientists are confident that bacteria play an essential role in our mental health.
What’s Next for Research
Doctors hope to continue to gain a better understanding of how our microbiomes influence our brains to treat psychiatric and neurological conditions better and clear up some of the misconceptions about the science. More clinical trials are needed to assess the influences guts have on various conditions.
What Can We Do About It?
Understanding how an ecosystem of microbes impact our stomachs and our overall health is an important step in educating ourselves to the importance of diet throughout life. As we are germ-free when we are born, our gut bacteria are influenced by the environment and what we consume. This means that we can change our microbiomes, reducing inflammation and positively influencing our mental health.
What You Can Do to Alter Your Microbiome
Well, studies show that one of the most important factors in reducing disease and improving the gut microbiome is diet. Good thing it is one of the most accessible factors that you can control in your life. Understanding the adverse effects a western diet has on your health and gut is vital to both your physical and mental health. A study of mice shows that after just 12 weeks of a western-style diet made them both obese and diabetic, doubling their weight – only 12 weeks! Their colons were dominated by pro-inflammatory bacteria, and their entire bodies showed signs of inflammation. Do you still want that bowl of Cheetos now?
The Bottom Line
Our guts play a more significant role in our overall health than we had known. With more attention to our diets, we are able to positively change our microbiome. By eating a diet rich in leafy greens, lots of vegetables, and removing packaged and processed foods, your gut will thank you, and it looks like your brain will too
Christopher James Lawrence is a Co-Founder of the Healthy Transformations Program with Dr. Mike Breen. He is also the Chief Value Officer and Founder of Change My Life Coaching and Co-Founder of Change My Business Coaching — a fast growing whole-life, leadership and business coaching company, and the only one of it’s kind. He is also the author of “Go Beyond Passion: Discover Your Dream Job”. Christopher is a Certified Master Coach Practitioner (CMCP), trainer and facilitator, and a passionate public speaker that truly cares about the success of each and every single person he comes into contact with. You can reach him here.
“Because of my history I didn’t stand a chance at the time as it related to food and gut health. But now, it’s so rewarding to be able to eat healthy foods that I couldn’t eat before. It makes the enjoyment of eating them so much more meaningful. I really feel that Healthy Transformations has Saved my life in so many ways.” ~ Mary Anne
Ten Most Powerful Ways to Curb Your Sugar Craving
Sugar is the enemy. Yes, yes. I know we need a certain amount of carbohydrates in our bodies; however, when it comes to sugar we overconsume.
Health professionals have discovered that many people experience sugar cravings, and this habit has made it impossible for them to stick to a healthy diet.
Cravings are said to be as a result of your brain’s need for a reward and not necessarily your body’s need for food. It’s ok to indulge a little, but over time it tends to become a habit and from there an insatiable craving. The dangers and disadvantages of too much sugar are something I am sure you are well aware of. Hence, there is a need to put a stop to those cravings.
In this article, we take a look at the ten most powerful ways to curb your sugar cravings, they include:
Eat a healthy, filling meal rather than junks
It’s one thing to crave something; it’s another thing to be hungry. Craving is not your body’s message that you need energy; it’s instead the dopamine saying you need a reward. When you crave for junk food when hungry, the best thing to do is to consume a healthy filling meal as soon as possible.
Rather than stock your kitchen with garbage food, stock it with nutritious snacks or pre-made food. Foods rich in proteins such as egg, meat, fish, and leafy greens are ideal for curbing hunger. This may not seem like such a good idea when all you want to do is woof down a sugar-filled snack, but when you consider the side effects, it will help you resist the temptation.
Have a hot or cold bath
This has proven to work wonders for those who crave sugar. The water to be used for bathing shouldn’t be just cold; it must be hot but not so much that it burns the skin. Allow the water glide over your skin and your back, stand in the bath for about ten minutes, and after that step out of the shower. Or do the opposite and make it cold. You will experience a kind of dazed feeling as though you have been in a sauna for far too long or as though you are schoking your body into alertness. Before you are done with your bath, your sugar craving will be gone.
Go for a walk
This is another effective way of dealing with a sugar craving. Go for a brisk walk, and if you can jog or run, then that’s better.
This serves two purposes, first is that it helps you keep a distance from that sugar you are craving, the second is that the exercise releases a feel-good chemical called endorphins which enables you to lose the craving.
Your craving could be caused by dehydration, but by taking at least a glass of water, you not only keep your body hydrated, but you also get to deal with the cravings.
Desist from consuming artificial sweeteners
If what triggers your craving for sugar are artificial sweeteners, then it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Have a support system
While trying to curb or stop your cravings for sugar, its best to have someone who understands what you are going through and is willing to help you scale through. It’s not going to be easy stopping what you love, but with determination and a sound support system, it can be done.
Have enough rest
Getting enough sleep daily is vital for your overall state of health; it also helps you prevent sugar cravings.
If you are aware of the things that trigger your craving for sugar, then its best to avoid it. It may be certain activities like walking past an ice-cream parlor or French fries.
Have a reminder
It is essential that on this journey of trying to curb your sugar craving that you have a list of the reasons you have decided to stop taking sugar. Regularly read the list to be reminded that you have a purpose and goal; this will help you stick to the plan.
By taking multivitamins, you prevent any deficiencies that may occur with sugar withdrawal. If you can take junks now and then without having a relapse then it’s ok, otherwise, avoid it altogether.
Christopher James Lawrence is a Co-Founder of the Healthy Transformations Programwith Dr. Mike Breen. He is also the Chief Value Officer and Founder of Change My Life Coaching and Co-Founder of Change My Business Coaching — a fast growing whole-life, leadership and business coaching company, and the only one of it’s kind. He is also the author of “Go Beyond Passion: Discover Your Dream Job”. Christopher is a Certified Master Coach Practitioner (CMCP), trainer and facilitator, and a passionate public speaker that truly cares about the success of each and every single person he comes into contact with. You can reach him here.