By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
Rebooting is a fantastic time to reduce unhealthy cravings, lose weight, improve well-being and start eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. We as a society often eat too much sugar, salt and other highly refined processed foods to help cope with our busy lifestyles, stress, fatigue, irritation, emotional upsets, boredom and much more which is why there are many reasons people may struggle during the initial stages of a Reboot.
We eat for many reasons! We eat when we are hungry but more often than not we eat because we are bored, stressed, anxious, worried, happy, excited or just for the pure pleasure of the act itself.
Why do we emotionally eat? When we eat food, particularly the processed varieties, it causes a chemical reaction in our brain which gives us a momentary feeling of contentment and satisfaction. Food can temporarily sedate our emotions. When eating processed foods this effect is very short lived so then we then feel the need to do it again to keep getting that feeling of satisfaction. Then an addiction is born along with health problems and possibly unwanted weight gain.
During a Reboot our hunger signals are more commonly emotional hunger as you are still receiving adequate calories.
The first few days on a Reboot can be the toughest because we can no longer use food as a feel good tool, we can’t reach for that donut, cake, cookie or bag of crisps because we feel stressed, tired or annoyed. During a Reboot it is important to learn how to cope with stress in a more productive healthy way.
Food industry designs processed foods to be highly addictive so you continue to buy more. Once you pop you can’t stop always plays in my mind when I think of all the chemical additives and salt to sugar ratios they add to get the customers hooked. MSG, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, sugar and salt are all highly addictive. Processed foods also give us a pronounced blood sugar spikes which then causes a crash shortly afterwards, this then stimulates our desire to eat these foods again.
Once Rebooting you may be struggling with these addictions and blood sugar irregularities but as you commit yourself and continue through you will break these addictions and come out the other end.
If you do not consume enough fresh fruits and vegetables prior to your Reboot, you may not experience fruit and vegetable cravings due to lack of exposure. Eating a diet high in processed foods distorts our natural food desires and cravings. This makes the first few days difficult because we are still stuck craving the wrong foods.
Even though packaged foods are cheap, our bodies pay the price. Their low nutrient content can cause us to feel fatigued, tired and lethargic. Due to this lethargy our bodies will automatically start craving easily digested empty calories for a quick pick me up. Our bodies want to work as little as possible to get as many calories as possible in this state. Unfortunately, we are now exposed to so much junk food that our hunger, craving and satiety cues are disorientated.
This cycle needs to be broken thus making those first few days during a Reboot more difficult due to those energy slumps, but as your energy improves from consuming so many nutrients, so will your desire for the right foods.
Short on time? Here are some tips for finding the time to eat healthy.
Not drinking enough water is one of the leading causes of hunger. Even slight dehydration can stimulate hunger pangs rather than our thirst. On your Reboot, the minimum amount of juice and fluids you’ll be consuming each day is:
The amount of fluid each person needs on a Reboot varies, so if you have headaches, are feeling dizzy, or are exercising more than you usually do, drink more coconut water or juice.
This can cause fatigue, cravings, irritability, blood sugar crashes, headaches and many more symptoms due to the lack of calories and nutrients so drink up! It can be very difficult to break away from poor eating habits but a Reboot is a very fast and effective way of breaking this cycle.