Managing Vs. Avoiding Cravings
Author: Britt, DND, FNP-C
The holidays are upon us, and you may be wondering how best to manage your cravings for the delightful treats and holiday dishes you’ve waited all year for, all while maintaining your health that you’ve worked so hard for. I would like to emphasize that manage is the key word! Not “avoid” or “deprive” but to simply remember that moderation is key and progress over perfection. Life is too short to not enjoy some good food and drink, but we also don’t want to undo all the work we’ve put into making ourselves happy and healthy. Here are a few key tips from the Central Wellness team to help you enjoy your holidays!
Here are some of the benefits of water:
· Brain Performance and Energy: As little as a 2% fluid loss (mild dehydration) can affect memory, mood, concentration, and reaction time. Dehydration can slow down circulation and affect the flow of oxygen to the brain. With all that expended energy, you can feel tired, sluggish, and less focused. Holidays can be stressful, adding in a few extra glasses to your daily intake can improve mood, cognitive function, and increase your energy to keep you going strong!
· Digestion and Detox: The body needs water to properly digest food. When we don’t get enough, we may experience irregular bowel movements, gas, bloating, heartburn, and other GI symptoms. Sufficient water intake also supports your body’s natural detoxification systems, which removes waste and harmful substances through urination, breathing, perspiration, and bowel movements. Most of us will be eating foods and drinking alcohol that are not in our everyday diet, and let’s be honest, none of us want to experience the above symptoms. So, hold them at bay by making sure you get adequate water intake (minimum of 64 ounces or half your body weight in ounces) between all the holiday parties and activities!
· Weight loss/management: Since it provides a sense of fullness, water can help you feel satisfied in between meals—instead of heading to the snack cupboard. It can also help boost your metabolism. One study of women with excess weight found that drinking additional glasses of water before each meal resulted in substantial reductions in body weight, body mass index, and body composition. According to another 2016 study, adults who upped their water intake by just 1% consumed fewer calories. They also reduced their overall intake of sugar, cholesterol, sodium, and saturated fat.
As the weather starts to turn, we go to and from work in the dark, and the days get shorter but stay just as busy and finding time to stay active can be hard. If you are one of my hormone clients, you know that I emphasize that exercise doesn’t have to involve going to the gym every day and that it can and will look different for every person. But staying active and getting regular physical activity is vital in maintaining not only your physical health, but mental health. Due to our shorter daylight hours here in the great state of Montana, we as a population are more prone to seasonal depression. Studies have shown that being physically active increases serotonin (the same neurotransmitter targeted by antidepressants) therefore having an impact on depression, anxiety, cognitive function, energy, and sleep.
Some ways to stay physically active this holiday and winter season are to get out and shovel that driveway and sidewalk. Did you know shoveling snow can burn upwards of 200 calories for every 30 minutes of shoveling? Sledding burns 240 calories for every 30 minutes. Downhill skiing burns 500 calories per hour and snowboarding 450 calories per hour. These are also great aerobic and muscle strengthening activities. Making sure your testosterone is optimized will also help your stamina during these activities.
· Ketone Support: Take 2 caps in AM
o 1000mg of Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) derived from BHB Magnesium Salts. If you are doing intermittent fasting or tend to follow a more keto-friendly diet, our Ketone Support may assist you in achieving and maintaining ketosis.
o It can also help with improved energy, better appetite control, healthy blood sugar balance, reducing fatigue and increased athletic performance. Research has shown that ketones are neuroprotective agents meaning they encourage growth and myelination of neurons in the brain and can improve cognitive function and mental acuity throughout the day. They have also shown positive outcomes in prevention of migraines and epilepsy.
· Vitamin D3 with K2: (5000 iu OR 10,000 iu) Take 1 capsule in AM
o Keep your immunity and energy levels up during this busy holiday season by making sure you are taking your vitamin D3 daily. Vitamin D (cholecalciferol) and vitamin K2 are essential micronutrients with universal roles throughout the body, such as supporting stress levels, mood, bone health, skin health, heart health, and immune health.
o Vitamin D is converted in the skin. As we move into the winter months this chance for conversion decreases dramatically. But even if you are heading on a sunny vacation instead of staying home this winter, know that just because you got some sun doesn’t mean your vitamin D levels are adequate, let alone optimal. Most people don’t properly convert vitamin D in the skin, which is why proper supplementation is so important!
· Magnesium: *Dosing depends on type of magnesium used.
o Magnesium is one of the most abundant essential nutrients in the human body and plays a key role for more than 300 biological processes, especially for healthy muscle contraction, cardiovascular function, nervous system function, bone mineralization, and healthy blood sugar balance. When supplementing with vitamin D, your magnesium levels are naturally depleted. There are different types of magnesium out there that can be utilized for their specific benefits. I recommend taking magnesium at bedtime as it promotes relaxation and can induce some sleepiness.
One question we ask every patient before deciding which magnesium is best for them is how their gut health is. Do you struggle with diarrhea or constipation? Or are your bowel movements regular?
o If you answered diarrhea, then we would recommend our Advanced Magnesium which is magnesium glycinate. This magnesium is GI neutral, meaning it won’t cause GI upset or loose stools. This specific formula also has malic acid added which supports healthy muscles and can promote athletic performance endurance and post exercise recovery as a few key perks! It is also great for help with restless leg!
o If you struggle with constipation- Magnesium citrate is the way to go! (no pun intended). With the combination of magnesium citrate and calcium citrate you are getting support for muscle function, bone mineralization, neurotransmission (nerve communication) as well as support for hydration. In regards to bowel movements and constipation, magnesium citrate works by pulling water into the bowel helping soften the stool and making it easier to eliminate. Gut health and regular bowel movements are important for our mental and physical health as it is one way that our body excretes our built-up toxins.
o Our last form of magnesium is Magnesium L-Threonate that provides support for cognitive health and brain function. This is the only form of magnesium that can cross the blood-brain barrier, effectively increasing the magnesium levels in the brain. In doing so it supports healthy neuron communication that creates a healthy stress response and mood, cognitive health, focus and attention without overstimulating. This form of magnesium does not affect the bowel.
Central Wellness offers a variety of vitamins and supplements to help you optimize your health. Visit the shop to learn more.
Author: Britt, DND, FNP-C
Britt joined Central Wellness in 2021 and has fallen in love with helping clients feel vital and vibrant using targeted and cutting-edge hormone replacement therapy. Central Wellness protocols are based on years of clinical experience within this specific field along with best practices in evidence-based medicine. Britt’s personalized approach to hormone replacement targets each patients’ unique needs and yields fast results for clients.
Britt’s primary goal is simple: to educate all her patients and make them feel cared for. Her personal reward is changing people’s lives and seeing the joy and confidence it brings to them.
We hope you feel empowered this holiday season to manage your cravings while still having a great time and enjoying the foods you love. Managing cravings doesn’t have to mean stressing about every calorie and avoiding your favorite traditional holiday foods!
If you find that you’re struggling with knowing where to begin with your personal health and wellness, one of our experts would love to speak with you. Whether you’re interested in learning more about supplements, finding what your body needs to optimize your overall health, or simply wish to discuss what Central Wellness has to offer, we’d love to have you visit us! We offer a 100% complimentary consultation, available to book online or over the phone today. We hope to see you soon!