Today, I was in my Pilates class and I was listening to a woman explain that she follows Weight Watchers, but there are sweets in her house (two teenage boys) and she winds up following her plan for a few days and then succumbs to the sweets because of the cravings.
One issue that is a whole other Oprah, I will discuss in another blog soon — that I think it is a mistake to have sweets around for teens with the excuse that they are teens. There are so many delicious HEALTHY options for teens and kids that it is just a poor excuse because they are growing fast and need calories to burn, that you can give them EMPTY calories in the shape of cookies and cake. But, that will be for another day.
Today’s issue is what is causing MOMMY (or Daddy’s) cravings? Two things!
1. You are addicted to sugar and you have to get off and allow yourself to get through withdrawal (like crack addiction).
2. You might have Leaky Gut Syndrome. You might ask, “What the heck is that?” It is a real medical condition that not all doctors know about or talk about, but good ones do. Your doctor might scoff, but then you will need another doctor. Dr. Andrew Weil knows about it and writes about it.
I had this condition and it caused me to be very ill and gain a lot of weight. It also caused my sugar cravings. In a nutshell…
” leaky gut syndrome (also called increased intestinal permeability), is the result of damage to the intestinal lining, making it less able to protect the internal environment as well as to filter needed nutrients and other biological substances. As a consequence, some bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and waste not normally absorbed may “leak” out of the intestines into the blood stream. This triggers an autoimmune reaction, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal bloating, excessive gas and cramps, fatigue, food sensitivities, joint pain, skin rashes, and autoimmunity. The cause of this syndrome may be chronic inflammation, food sensitivity, damage from taking large amounts of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), cytotoxic drugs and radiation or certain antibiotics, excessive alcohol consumption, or compromised immunity.”
(If you have migraines, gut issues, yeast infections, nail issues, bowel issues, skin issues–it could be caused by Leaky Gut Syndrome!)
How do you heal this condition?
1. avoid alcoholm NSAIDS, any foods that you’re allergic to.
2. Make sure you’re eating plenty of fiber.
3. Take Culturelle or another probiotic supplement containing Lactobacillus GG.
4. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet, including essential fatty acids like fish oil and GLA. In addition, you might try supplementing with glutamine, an amino acid that helps maintain intestinal metabolism and function and seems to benefit patients who have had intestinal injury from chemotherapy and radiation.
5. Cut sugar out of your diet as much as possible and follow a MEVY diet (Meat, eggs, vegetables and yogurt) if you can’t follow the anti-inflammatory diet. If you eat fruit, stick with fruit that has low sugar like berries or citrus. A side benefit is that you will lose weight. You will have sugar cravings for about a week, find something to keep your mouth happy like gum, lots of flavored water or coffee. Try to avoid milk for awhile–lots of sugar. Use non dairy creamer if you need light coffee. Sweeteners can be an issue, and if you like the taste of Stevia at all, use that. I couldn’t give up my Splenda–so getting the Leaky Gut Syndrome cleared up for me took many months.