Food cravings

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Food cravings

Postby dreamqueen » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:09 pm

Sometimes I crave healthy things like an apple, or grapes, or kale salad, or whatever, which is cool.

But there are cravings for certain less healthy things that I crave. The worst offender is peanut butter toast. This probably doesn't sound like a big deal - but I don't crave just two pieces of toast, which is probably reasonable. And I crave it more and more intensely as the night wears on, so by 10pm I feel like I'm fairly going mad from pseudo-hunger. I say "pseudo-hunger" because I'm not usually really hungry when I start my pavlovian reaction to my memories of peanut butter toast. I am happy to eat it sometimes, but not at night and not in the abundance in which I desire it.

Any thoughts on how to get past this crap? It's scarily lower brain stem. :cry:
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Re: Food cravings

Postby mouche » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:37 pm

I normally find I crave things like peanut butter when I haven't eaten enough fat and/or in my last meal - I'll admit that my stomach feels full, but I don't feel satisfied.

So I now try to make sure I have a good dose of fat in every meal or snack (nuts, seeds or oils). If I'm still craving, I'll usually have a piece of toast or two and then wait a while and see if I'm still thinking about it... usually I'm not. (Actually to be honest, I tend to just end up eating a few spoonfuls of peanut butter straight from the tub... or a few pieces of chocolate)

And if none of that works and you really don't want to give in, try rice cakes or crispbreads, or bake some bramley apple slices with cinnamon and then top them in some peanut butter - that was my favourite late-night winter snack last year.

However, I have found that if your'e craving toast and peanut butter, there is no substitute for toast and peanut butter!
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Re: Food cravings

Postby Talyn » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:47 pm

If you want to eat it, just eat it. Don't limit foods based on whether you think it's healthy or not. Denying yourself something you perceive as not being healthy, is not healthy, if that makes any sense.

Are you sure you're eating enough? If you make sure you do, then your cravings will probably go away.
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Re: Food cravings

Postby Hiking Fox » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:05 pm

Talyn wrote:If you want to eat it, just eat it. Don't limit foods based on whether you think it's healthy or not. Denying yourself something you perceive as not being healthy, is not healthy, if that makes any sense..


/\
This.

Fat isn't necessarily bad. We need fat for healthy brain function.
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Re: Food cravings

Postby dreamqueen » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:21 pm

I'm not against fats at all. I eat a fair bit of tahini, almond butter, avocados, etc - natural fats. I'm trying to completely cut out oils (almost there) as the processing almost completely strips them of their nutritional content. But as I understand it, peanut butter is one of the least healthy of the natural fats; it's so highly roasted that it tends to become almost entirely trans fat. That said, if I wanted peanut butter toast in the middle of the day and in some moderation (i.e., a normal person's two slices), I wouldn't be bothered. It's the late at night thing that worries me most because 1) I won't be using the food energy and 2) I don't sleep as well when I've just eaten.

I do eat enough. I certainly eat almost constantly, which I find very enjoyable. :) I always eat till I'm full. I've read about it being ideal to eat to 80% fullness but I don't know what that would mean, and I'm pretty sure it would make me feel crazy anyway.

As for worrying about eating healthily not being healthy, I don't agree. I've lost 20 lbs (2.5 stone?) in the last 10 months or so because I've been making a conscious effort to eat healthy - and I've never felt better in my life.
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Re: Food cravings

Postby mouche » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:29 pm

dreamqueen wrote:I'm trying to completely cut out oils (almost there) as the processing almost completely strips them of their nutritional content. But as I understand it, peanut butter is one of the least healthy of the natural fats; it's so highly roasted that it tends to become almost entirely trans fat.


Where have you read/heard this?

If you're eating as healthily as you say, I wouldn't worry about the odd spoonful of peanut butter here and there. Everything in moderation. Even healthy foods can have adverse effects (eg too much calcium inhibiting absorption of iron) so just eat a balanced diet and listen to your body.
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Re: Food cravings

Postby JP » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:02 pm

processing doesnt make the fat into trans fat.

Processed oils can be very healthy indeed, or at least neutral, nothing to worry about them either (like anything, in moderation)

You will use the energy when you sleep, base metabolic rate is still most of your calorie consumtion per day, so usually there is no need to worry about it.

Only if your whole days/normal calorie intake is in excess you would maybe tinker with timings a little, but it sounds like you are losing weight anyway, so are in the negative in terms of calorie intake anyway?

peanut butter sandwiches are awesome though :D Even better with some jam on top!
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Re: Food cravings

Postby vegansludge » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:11 pm

dreamqueen wrote:As for worrying about eating healthily not being healthy, I don't agree. I've lost 20 lbs (2.5 stone?) in the last 10 months or so because I've been making a conscious effort to eat healthy - and I've never felt better in my life.


Do you mean the types of foods you've been eating or the amount of food you've been eating affecting your weight loss? Because, to be honest, you could lose weight eating "unhealthy" foods just as easily as eating "healthy" ones. Of course the overall health benefits might be less but I seriously don't think you need to worry too much a spoon or two of peanut butter here and there.

As for eating before bed, it's a myth that you shouldn't eat before bed because it contributes to weight gain - it's excess calories that make that happen. But since you said it makes sleeping difficult, maybe switch up what you have been eating before bed to see if it's the food itself?
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Re: Food cravings

Postby dreamqueen » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:55 pm

It's the kind of food, not the amount, that has made me lose weight. If I want vegan sausages, I make them now instead of buying the super high-sodium, high fat commercial brand; if I want cheeze, I make something with nutritional yeast and cashews, rather than buying the Daiya, etc. Also, the exercise, which I've been focusing on in a much more committed way than I ever have before has quite noticeably changed the way I digest food; eating doesn't make me want to nap now. In fact, I eat a lot more now that I'm focusing on whole food, low fat (well, low processed fat, like I said) than I ever have. I don't count calories so can't even begin to guess what my intake in that regard is. All I know for sure is that I eat almost constantly. And the weight loss seems to have stopped; I've been holding steady at my current weight for over a month now.

The China Study, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, anything by Dr. Neal Barnard - that's where I've learned to avoid the processed oils. The research seems pretty clear that processed oils have almost no nutritional value (and no fiber which may be more important than anything else) but at 9-14 grams of fat per tablespoon, they can only do harm and no good. I'm not proselytizing, just saying what I've read and been convinced by. And what has made a huge difference in my health.

As for listening to my body, that's what I'm trying to do. Eating peanut butter toast at night makes me feel terrible on top of my concerns about it being unhealthy. In my experience, not all cravings are created equal and shouldn't be treated as such. Sometimes I crave cupcakes, but there's no way anyone can convince me they contain some hidden nutrient I'm somehow not getting elsewhere! :) I often eat grapes at night which, while they aren't peanut butter toast, do taste damned good and help to a point.
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Re: Food cravings

Postby Talyn » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:04 pm

dreamqueen wrote:It's the kind of food, not the amount, that has made me lose weight. If I want vegan sausages, I make them now instead of buying the super high-sodium, high fat commercial brand; if I want cheeze, I make something with nutritional yeast and cashews, rather than buying the Daiya, etc. Also, the exercise, which I've been focusing on in a much more committed way than I ever have before has quite noticeably changed the way I digest food; eating doesn't make me want to nap now. In fact, I eat a lot more now that I'm focusing on whole food, low fat (well, low processed fat, like I said) than I ever have. I don't count calories so can't even begin to guess what my intake in that regard is. All I know for sure is that I eat almost constantly. And the weight loss seems to have stopped; I've been holding steady at my current weight for over a month now.

The China Study, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, anything by Dr. Neal Barnard - that's where I've learned to avoid the processed oils. The research seems pretty clear that processed oils have almost no nutritional value (and no fiber which may be more important than anything else) but at 9-14 grams of fat per tablespoon, they can only do harm and no good. I'm not proselytizing, just saying what I've read and been convinced by. And what has made a huge difference in my health.

As for listening to my body, that's what I'm trying to do. Eating peanut butter toast at night makes me feel terrible on top of my concerns about it being unhealthy. In my experience, not all cravings are created equal and shouldn't be treated as such. Sometimes I crave cupcakes, but there's no way anyone can convince me they contain some hidden nutrient I'm somehow not getting elsewhere! :) I often eat grapes at night which, while they aren't peanut butter toast, do taste damned good and help to a point.


I don't really understand the point of this thread.

You seem convinced doing what you are doing is perfect, that you are so healthy or whatever, yet at the same time you are seeking approval to deny yourself certain foods.

What I am trying to tell you is moderation is important and that there is no logical reason to deny yourself any type of food. If you want cupcakes or peanut butter on toast or something, budget some into your daily intake and eat lots of other healthy foods. It will make next to no difference.

Edited to add: Your argument that fats and sugars etc are unhealthy is valid, but in your OP you mention that you can't stop once you start. So rather than blaming certain foods for being unhealthy and therefore you want to eliminate them entirely, perhaps you should address your lack of willpower and just stop before you eat too much of them?
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Re: Food cravings

Postby dreamqueen » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:21 pm

I'm not looking for approval, I'm looking for help with what feels to me like a problem. Yes, in the grand scheme of things, a small problem, but something I really struggle with.

I came here asking for help - why is this offensive to you? If you're more interested in telling me why my attempt to deal with this is wrong rather than helping me is your priority, you might have spared me and just not responded to the thread. It would have been kinder. I have clearly come to the wrong place, and am sorry to have done so.
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Re: Food cravings

Postby vegansludge » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:54 pm

dreamqueen wrote:It's the kind of food, not the amount, that has made me lose weight. If I want vegan sausages, I make them now instead of buying the super high-sodium, high fat commercial brand; if I want cheeze, I make something with nutritional yeast and cashews, rather than buying the Daiya, etc. Also, the exercise, which I've been focusing on in a much more committed way than I ever have before has quite noticeably changed the way I digest food; eating doesn't make me want to nap now. In fact, I eat a lot more now that I'm focusing on whole food, low fat (well, low processed fat, like I said) than I ever have. I don't count calories so can't even begin to guess what my intake in that regard is. All I know for sure is that I eat almost constantly. And the weight loss seems to have stopped; I've been holding steady at my current weight for over a month now.


I'm not sure if I buy the first sentence since I bet there's a stronger correlation between your exercising commitment and weight loss than the types of food your eating and your weight loss. Certain foods don't make you lose weight - caloric deficits do. However, there's no doubt that cutting out processed sugars and oils has affected how you feel overall since certain foods and ingredients do tend to make people feel sluggish after eating them.

Also, even if you're eating constantly, if that foods aren't dense calorie-wise, you might not be eating as much as you think. Not attacking you or anything since I don't know exactly what you're eating and for all I know you could be eating extremely dense foods. It's just, if you're losing weight, that means you're in a caloric deficit so you might not be eating as much as you think (especially since you don't count calories).

And I agree with talyn - eating something you crave isn't a bad thing if you budget it into your needs. However, since you don't count calories, you've probably worried yourself into thinking "caving in" to your cravings is going to have extremely negative affects on your progress (otherwise you wouldn't have made this thread looking for advice). If you want help this is my advice:

1.) Either indulge yourself occasionally without tracking your calories and know it's not going to affect your overall progress unless you're doing it all the time.
2.) Start counting your calories/macros and make your cravings fit into them.
3.) Keep ignoring them completely and just do what you've been doing.

Personally, one and two are the best options with two being the most desirable.
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Re: Food cravings

Postby JP » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:10 am

hey, how about peanut butter with ice cream :D LOVE IT! (with chocolate sauce especially)

cravings could be caused by a number of reasons, but considering your rapid weight loss it could just be plain old hunger and lack of calories (as in, for you to lose weight so fast you have been in the negative territory with your calorie intake for a long time, and body probably doesnt like it!).

I think one reason why the responses may be a suprise to you here is that veganfitness is not known for being in the extreme end of what some people see as healthy - i dont like to say it that way because i think not stressing about food and eating things in moderation is probably the healthiest way to go in life, and at the same time very enjoyable and socially easy.

as a sidenote, calories is nutritional value, so processed oils have nutritional value. For instance if person is starving, processed oil would improve their health already by the virtue of calories, then make it a bit of a healthier oil, and they would benefit more still. But thats a sidenote.
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Re: Food cravings

Postby Fallen_Horse » Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:48 am

JP wrote:as a sidenote, calories is nutritional value, so processed oils have nutritional value.


I make this grammar mistake sometimes. I'm sure he meant to say, 'nutritive value,' as in, 'oils have no nutritive value,' which is mostly accurate. Even the healthiest oils (olive, flax, etc.) have next to 0 nutrients when compared with the whole foods they were extracted from. Yeah they are useful for cooking and for taste, but people that claim olive oil is a health food really get on my nerves. Healthy compared to trans fat? To butter? To lard? Yes, of course, but it's nothing compared to an actual olive.



Anyway I'm off track. To the OP, if you are concerned about the processing of peanut butter you can just jump over to Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Vitamin Cottage. They have freshly made peanut butter, simply ground from blanched peanuts. That's as 'whole food' as peanuts get!
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Re: Food cravings

Postby FormicaLinoleum » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:03 pm

Talyn wrote:What I am trying to tell you is moderation is important and that there is no logical reason to deny yourself any type of food.

This thread seems to be going in odd directions because people don't seem to be understanding what the OP is asking. I'm not sure why, because it seems completely clear to me.

But there are cravings for certain less healthy things that I crave. The worst offender is peanut butter toast. This probably doesn't sound like a big deal - but I don't crave just two pieces of toast, which is probably reasonable. And I crave it more and more intensely as the night wears on, so by 10pm I feel like I'm fairly going mad from pseudo-hunger. I say "pseudo-hunger" because I'm not usually really hungry when I start my pavlovian reaction to my memories of peanut butter toast. I am happy to eat it sometimes, but not at night and not in the abundance in which I desire it.


She's not looking for advice on how to never eat peanut butter toast, so saying "go ahead and eat it if you crave it", or "eat it in moderation" isn't answering her question. She specifically said she is happy to eat peanut butter toast but doesn't want to eat it at night or in massive amounts. She's OK with eating it in moderation and thinks a couple of slices is reasonable.

My own suggestion, if this builds over the evening, is to try eating a small amount of peanut butter toast when the first craving hits, earlier in the evening. Maybe that will stop it from building up to a craving for a huge amount.
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