Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Tip # 8 From Igor and Memory Cravings

30 Day Challenge

We are currently at day 23 and only have 6 days left of our nutritional challenge. Already participants are feeling a difference in their clothes and in how they feel about themselves. One participant cut out wheat and thought that it was coffee that had been irritating her digestive system, she continued to drink coffee, but her symptoms went away. Now she knows it was the wheat causing the problem and she can make adjustments accordingly.

Igor's Tip:

Tip #8: Sometimes you don't always have access to a gym. There are lots of options for things you can do without any equipment whatsoever. Read up on isometrics and dynamic tension here.

Igor Klibanov, CEO of Fitness Solutions Plus


I am having "memory cravings"- you know, when you are more craving the memory of how good it was or how good you remember it to be, rather than the actual thing, I guess it is something like phantom itches on someone with a lost limb? How about you? I am sure you have heard the saying:
"Because while hindsight is always 20/20, it's usually through rose colored glasses."

 Let me explain it another way, one of my best friends was sharing with me how she used to drink a diet beverage about three times a day and loved it, then she cut it out and then months later thought that she would really love one of those delicious, satisfying diet beverages that she remembered enjoying so much. She sat down, cracked open the can and took a sip....YUK! It tasted horrible! The memory of the beverage was better than the actual thing. May I suggest 3 reasons why this may happen:
  • We may associate a certain type of food with happy memories or childhood favorites in a care free time, and we may not realize it, but we think eating that food will help relive those happy times.
  • Your mind remembers the enjoyment you got out of whatever thing you were consuming and over time adds to it and it seems better than it did in reality. This happens particularly with things that are either "forbidden" or ones you craved before. Perhaps it goes back to the whole Eve and the forbidden fruit thing that we as mankind have inherited? We want what we shouldn't or can't have, it is human nature.

  • Your taste buds adapt and change. Your palette adjusts to eating a cleaner diet. It also adjusts if you increase your sugar consumption, what used to taste sweet no longer does. It works both ways.

    What could be causing cravings besides memories of goodies you had in the past that were not the best choices for you?

    Consider the following:
    1. Could you be lacking in nutrients. Are you getting enough magnesium in your diet? (for those who crave chocolate)
    2. Are you bored, tired or feeling down? Your mood may be contributing to a misunderstanding of your body signals, when we are tired, we may reach for a cookie, instead of just going to bed early. Listen to your body signals, REALLY listen. What is it that you NEED and not what you want. You don't NEED a litre of ice cream, but you may need some self care, some quiet and reflection or some sleep or perhaps you have been forgetting to take your supplements and are not getting enough protein? Never let yourself become too hungry, angry, lonely or tired, this can still be an excellent tool to help you avoid cravings.
    3. Read this article: What causes food cravings?
    4. Your craving may not be a physical need, if you wait 20 minutes, drink some water, think about something else, it will pass. People often crave sugar or fat or both. Recognize this for what it is, you are not alone, but make sure you deal with these cravings in a healthy way. Really, try it, wait for 20 minutes and the cravings will pass. 

    30 Day Challenge participants were given homework to think about this very issue. Here are some of the responses:
    30 Day Challenge participant Elisabeth from San Carlos wrote,
    "Living in Mexico we eat differently form when we lived in the USA. There are times we crave the food from the chain of restaurants, but when we do get up north, the food isn't nearly as good as we remember. After a few months of eating lots of fruit and veggies the huge portions. smothered in cheese and laden with sodium just don't taste good anymore. It is like visiting a childhood attraction - it doesn't give you the same feeling it used to."

    Nina in Oregon wrote,
    "Candy comes to mind., I always think it's going to taste so great as when I was a child, running to the store with the allowance in my hand. Looking at all the bright colored candies, choosing carefully and walking home, very content, munching on my treats. In my family, it was only one day a week, for candy. Saturday was it. Looking forward to it was priceless. Like Christmas. But now, I do occasionally buy some, anticipating the same taste, rush…Take a bite and …..Can't get past the scary food coloring, weird ingredients (impossible to pronounce) and because I can buy it any time the thrill is gone. The memory is so much greater than reality. Does it stop me from trying it again? After I wrote this maybe I'll think twice!

    Being sugar free during this challenge has helped me and I prefer "me" without the white stuff. I feel much more in control over what I put in my body. Cravings are gone. A great feeling. Thanks for doing this. I know making a challenge happen takes lots of time and energy."

    Crystal from Regina wrote,
    "Memory cravings - way more fun than satisfying the craving I've found. Sometimes the memory is as good or better (cream puffs), but for me the bubble burst with chips believe it or not recently. They, like pop, seriously tempt me and usually win. However, during this challenge I've had 2 opportunities to have chips and both times, after a reasonable serving I didn't feel satisfied like I expected - but it wasn't because I wanted more, I just didn't really want them."
    Sue from Nottingham wrote,
    "I had such a wonderful happy childhood and there was always cake or home baked biscuits around... or the box of chocolates dad had bought for us to eat occasionally for pudding. (Although I always found the stash and helped myself). I've always identified with Winnie the Pooh and his ' time for something sweet' have many many sweet teeth. However, cutting sugar has made me more stable/ less moody and I actively delay getting something to eat after supper because it's not that I'm hungry - it's the memory of finishing the meal with something sweet. I suppose really it's about creating new 'food' memories to look back to in the future that are better choices. And it helps that instead of feeling guilty for having a few biscuits I feel proud of myself for not having given in - for recognizing that the need for sweet stuff is actually because I'm tired, or stressed or sore.. and going to bed with a good book and my meds is a much better choice. I've learnt so much during this challenge.. I never really believed that I could cut sugar... but taking it a day at a time... who knows...Thanks." 

    Sheila in South Africa wrote,
    "I must admit that I am craving hard cheese - I stood in the supermarket, staring at the selection, and managed to move on past to find the hummus. It's not surprising that it has such a strong hold on me - being a child in the UK, during rationing, I didn't have sweets and sugary stuff as a bribe, a prize, a consolation - I had a chunk of rock-hard Cheddar cheese, complete with its cloth 'rind' and I have vivid memories, including the taste, aroma and texture of running the cheese over my bottom milk teeth and the visual as I watched the patterns emerge as I turned the lump round and around .... and no, I will not buy any ... even my house-guests have to make do with the soft cheeses these days!

    I'm coping with this by not buying any, and being accountable to you - thanks. "

I'd love to hear about YOUR MEMORY CRAVINGS and how you deal with them?
You can reply by clicking here: or emailing me at 
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Melony Teague a freelance writer and columnist who lives in Canada with her husband and two young children.
Founder of "Secrets of Body Transformation from the Inside Out" 
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