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> back to eNewsletter Past Issue List
This issue will take about 3 minutes to read. Issue #11
Coping with Cravings (or First, Eat Something Healthy)
Roles of Fat

First, Eat Something Healthy

You're hungry,
you have the 'munchies',
you just want 'something',
you have a craving, you want to eat.

You have paid attention to what you need emotionally. When it seemed like you needed comfort, you already did comfort yourself in non-food ways. When you needed relief from boredom, you did something interesting. When you needed to tune-out, you actually did tune-in to the issue at hand, even if it was just a little bit. And, even after paying attention to your emotional needs:

You're still hungry,
you still have the 'munchies',
you still just want 'something',
you still have a craving, you still want to eat.

Now, what do you do? Eat. Whenever you are actually stomach growling hungry (even if your mind tells you that you should not be hungry), EAT. Only, I suggest that you eat something healthy. I recommend that you HAVE A HEALTHY FOOD CHOICE AVAILABLE TO YOU AT ALL TIMES. If you were taking care of a little one for the day, you would always have healthy snacks stuffed in your bag, just in case the little one got hungry. Give yourself the same care.

When you are not actually stomach growling hungry, but you really want something anyway, EAT. Just eat something healthy first. Think about your day, ask yourself: "Have I eaten enough fruits and veggies?" "Have I eaten enough protein?" "Have I had enough water?" Think about the nutritious foods you still need today, and give yourself the food your body needs.

After you have eaten something healthy, give your body and mind some time to react. (It takes twenty minutes for food you have eaten to effect your brain so that your brain 'knows' you are full.) Then, when a little time has gone by, you will notice that your craving is gone or your craving is still tugging at you. If your craving is gone, move on with your day or your evening. If your craving is still tugging at you, EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT. Yes, that is what I said, eat whatever you want. There is only one catch. It is very important that you REALLY ENJOY WHAT YOU EAT. Savor every bite. Especially since you are eating to satisfy a craving, this is the time to savor your food and NOTICE WHEN YOU ARE SATISFIED.

I want you to imagine that this happened to you:
--You had a craving and you tuned-in to your emotional needs.
--You continued to crave and you ate something healthy first.
--You still craved and you ate what you craved.
--You enjoyed what you ate, and stopped when satisfied.

How would you feel? Isn't this much better than an uncontrolled guilt filled 'binge'? Would you end up eating more healthy foods and less entertainment foods when you cope with cravings this way? Would you feel less guilt? Can you see that there is NO DEPRIVATION in this way of coping with cravings?

There is no restriction imposed. When you cope with cravings by meeting your emotional needs and then eating something healthy first, you are tuning-in to what you need. You are taking care of yourself instead of forcing yourself to use willpower and stay on a program. Because you are internally motivated and you are not on a program, you cannot go 'off the program'. If you try to cope with cravings this new way, and you don't do as you intended ? don't worry. There will be another craving. You will get another chance to practice this new way of coping with your next craving.

Cravings can be scary. Especially if you have felt wildly out of control with your eating in the past. Practice this new way of coping. Let some time pass. Gradually, you will be less scared. When your next craving hits you, take a breath, tune-in, and take care of yourself. You deserve it.

Copyright 2000, Kelly Bliss M.Ed. and Work It Out, Inc. 610-394-2547
May be reprinted with copyright and contact information intact.

Roles of Fat!
... or ...
Fat Functions!

The following is fairly technical.
When I read it, some of it went over my head.
Still, it really affected me to read this information.
I share it with you in case it helps you view your body more constructively.

Physiological role of adipose tissue:
white adipose tissue as an endocrine and secretory organ

Proc Nutr Soc 2001 Aug;60(3):329-39 (ISSN: 0029-6651)
Trayhurn P; Beattie JH Institute for Nutrition Research, University of Oslo, Blindern, Norway.

The traditional role attributed to white adipose tissue is energy storage, fatty acids being released when fuel is required. The metabolic role of white fat is, however, complex. For example, the tissue is needed for normal glucose homeostasis and a role in inflammatory processes has been proposed.

A radical change in perspective followed the discovery of leptin; this critical hormone in energy balance is produced principally by white fat, giving the tissue an endocrine function. Leptin is one of a number of proteins secreted from white adipocytes , which include angiotensinogen, adipsin, acylation-stimulating protein, adiponectin, retinol-binding protein, tumour neorosis factor a, interleukin 6, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and tissue factor. Some of these proteins are inflammatory cytokines, some play a role in lipid metabolism, while others are involved in vascular haemostasis or the complement system.

The effects of specific proteins maybe autocrine or paracrine, or the site of action maybe distant from adipose tissue. The most recently described adipocyte secretory proteins are fasting-induced adipose factor, a fibrinogen-angiopoietin-related protein, metallothionein and resistin. Resistin is an adipose tissue-specific factor which is reported to induce insulin resistance, linking diabetes to obesity. Metallothionein is a metal-binding and stress-response protein which may have an antioxidant role. The key challenges in establishing the secretory functions of white fat are to identify the complement of secreted proteins, to establish the role of each secreted protein, and to assess the pathophysiological consequences of changes in adipocyte protein production with alterations in adiposity (obesity, fasting, cachexia).

There is already considerable evidence of links between increased production of some adipocyte factors and the metabolic and cardiovascular complications of obesity. In essence, white adipose tissue is a major secretory and endocrine organ involved in a range of functions beyond simple fat storage.

Take Care,
Kelly Bliss
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