Monday, November 11, 2019

Retrospective #268: “Help with Cravings”


‘John,’ the ‘bot who (that?) is the “coach” I selected at Fit2Me, sent me my first “coach email” a while ago. (Fit2Me is a website that I learned about through a TV ad and signed up for. It is sponsored by AstraZeneca, the drug company. So, this post is my critique of ‘John’s’ approach to mentoring me. It’s a fairly short email, with introductory paragraph, three bullet paragraphs, and a summary wrap-up with encouragement.
“Cravings can be tough,” ‘John’ begins. “It’s not just because the food is right there, but many times it comes out of nowhere and that’s really hard to handle. That’s why I thought I would reach out to you with some suggestions.”
Cravings. What are they anyway? For me cravings fall into 2 categories: 1) hunger cravings, which I never, ever have; and 2) ideas about eating something, which I frequently have, usually before or after supper.
Hunger craving are non-existent because I eat a Very Low Carb diet. When you eat this way, you will not be hungry. You will have no “need” (from hunger cravings) to snack between meals because your blood sugar will be stable.
     “It’s not easy,” ‘John’ says, “but a little preparation can really help deal with temptation. Keep some type 2 diabetes friendly snacks with you. There’s plenty at Fit2Me. These can really come in handy when you are tempted because it is much easier to say ‘no’ when you have something to say ‘yes’ to.”
This makes no sense at all to me. In fact, you are not saying “no” at all; you are actually saying “yes.” You are actually caving in to temptation, not hunger. That is NOT the best way to control the beast.
     “If you’re going out to eat with friends or the work crowd, look ahead at the menu and know what you are going to order. It really helps to keep you from having to choose on the spot, plus it gives you more time to hobnob with the ‘in crowd.’” (That’s funny. In social network theory, a type 2 diabetic – who is probably obese – apparently is not part of the ‘in crowd.’ Can’t you just picture this poor soul?
Once again, ‘John’ (I’m talking to a robot!), I think this is a bad idea. If you look ahead at the menu you are just going to be thinking about food too much. Everyone on a diet knows this. It is easy to obsess about food. Just pick up the menu, select an appetizer or a salad and be done with it. Just avoid all fried foods and prepared salad dressings.
     “Remember your trade-offs. If you think you are going to be in a situation where you have to eat more than you want to, just try to keep the portions small, plus plan on how you’re going to burn off some of those extra calories with an exercise. There are lots of activities to use to trade-off some calories on Fit2Me,” ‘John’ says.
Oh great! Plan to fail. Plan to be in a situation where “you have to” eat more than you want, and then rationalize this planned indulgence with a “Hail Mary” around the track. Does anyone think that exercise is a good way to lose weight? Penance is great, but penance doesn’t shed weight; it just sheds guilt. To repeat, the solution is simple: control the beast.
‘John’s’ summation: “Temptation comes in a lot of forms and at all times of the day. Stay ahead of temptations by planning ahead. Use your meal planner, build an activity plan to help you with trade-offs, and keep some healthy snacks ready. It’s all there with Fit2Me. After all, we know that you are going to have to deal with cravings, and that’s why we built Fit2Me to be all about you. Remember, I [the robot speaking here] am behind you every step of the way.”
‘John’ is talking “temptation” again. Temptation is different from “cravings” and different from actual “hunger” (from hormone signaling) or snacking (because you have received those hormonal signals). But cravings are easily managed: 1) eat LCHF and you won’t get “hunger cravings,” period, and YOU WON’T NEED TO SNACK BETWEEN MEALS.
Then, if you want a low-carb appetizer before supper (as I do), eat a few radishes with salt and butter, or anchovy paste with celery, or a few olives. After supper, to break the habit of “nervous eating,” simply control the beast. Plant another idea in your head, or drink water. Last week most of my FBGs were in the 80’s, including an 83 this morning!

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