Why We Crave
Food craving, particularly for sweets, is more involved than not being able to resist a second slice of chocolate cake. Researchers have discovered that 'intense sweetness' (from sugar or artificial sweetener) creates a biochemical change in the brain that is a lot like the response to addictive substances. Sugar actually alters the dopamine network - part of the brain's 'pleasure response.' Other factors that play a role in the food we crave include stress, family habits, where we eat and whom we eat with, and time of day.
Curing the Cravings
Our thoughts affect how we feel, and how we feel affects our actions and the choices we make. If you're struggling with food choices and having a hard time managing sugar intake, consider cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Working with a psychotherapist trained in CBT, you'll learn to identify and change thoughts that influence emotions. You'll develop insight into how even the smallest choices allow a behavior to persist and what is getting in the way of changing your patterns.
In a CBT session, clients use educational exercises, talk therapy, and simulations to change behavior. Sessions usually involve intense work over several weeks to arrive at effective solutions. If you're struggling with cravings, depression, anxiety or addition, give CBT a chance. It could make all the difference in your way of life.
National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists. 'What is CBT?' Accessed 5 Dec 2016: http://www.nacbt.org/whatiscbt-htm/
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DiabetesSelfManagement.com 'CBT' Accessed 5 Dec 2016: http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/diabetes-resources/definitions/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-cbt/
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NAMI.org. 'Popular Types of Psychotherapy.' http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Treatment/Psychotherapy
List of resources on CBT for a variety of mental physical health conditions: http://www.nacbt.org/whycbt-htm/
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