SCD Food Cravings: Are You Crazy or Is Your Body Trying to Tell You Something?

by Steven Wright

Have you ever taken a shot of honey?

Or eaten a half jar of almond butter?

What about licked salt off your hand?

Stuffed your face with so much fruit you got sick?

In the past, I’ve done all the above and more. During my time on the SCD diet, I swear there were times when I was literally addicted to some foods. Sometimes, I would snack on one of these simple pleasures for weeks and then suddenly when I looked at my grocery bills I would get a huge slap in the face. I ate a pound of honey a week for the last four weeks, how about a whole box of raisins in 2 days?!? Yikes.

Sometimes, it would take a bit of a realization about how much I was eating to cut back (or cutoff). But other times it was more immediate, like eating a whole bunch of almond butter and getting sick. In the latter instance, it can sometimes be hard to know how much of any one thing you are consuming unless you are diligently tracking your food. In many cases, though, the culprit might be known and probably still sitting in your kitchen.

As I’m getting farther down the healing road and reflecting on the past, I’m starting to wonder if these cravings are normal. And I have read yahoo group posts and message boards of others who have faced these same challenges. While that usually offers some relief to know that I’m not alone, there are still the questions in the back of my head lingering…

Do I have an addictive personality? Is this diet causing me to become a neurotic basket-case? Are these foods actually bad for me or only in copious amounts? Ahh… they could drive me mad if I let them go too far.

Over the past few months, as I’ve dove into the inner biology of the body and the interactions between brain, body and gut, I’m starting to shift my thinking. What if these cravings, I mean real cravings, where my every thought is literally overtaken, are being driven by my body?

Am I even in control of what I’m eating? If not, who or what is?

What if I was lacking a certain vitamin or mineral and my body knew this and it is secretly taking over to obtain what it needs?

Is my gut ecology actually secretly sending me subliminal messages to eat certain foods that one particular strain of bacteria or yeast need to live on? I’ve talked about this before here.

This is sort of a brain-dump-rant post, but I’ve been researching and working on several hypotheses related to the above and I’m curious

I feel better now! 🙂

have you been there with me? Do you know what I’m talking about? Are you researching this too? Maybe you have some of the missing pieces of the puzzle I’m trying to locate and we could help each other.

If anyone has any particular knowledge on these subjects or knows of any good resources I would love to read them. Or if you’ve been there in the trenches with me, tell your story below. I know when I was going through my various challenges it helped reading and knowing that I wasn’t alone.

Take care,

Steve

Is Your Body Secretly Suffering from a Leaky Gut?

Take this 3-minute quiz to find out if you have the #1 problem missed by modern medicine... Take the Quiz NOW
(NOTE: The results of this quiz could save your life)

About the author

Steven Wright Steve Wright is a health engineer and author. In 2009, he reached a breaking point when IBS took over his life and the doctors didn't know how to help. Since then, he has transformed his health and started SCDLifestyle.com to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet Works

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

naomi August 25, 2010 at 1:59 pm

In my experience, cravings are the result of imbalance of some sort. Cravings for sweet foods usually indicate a blood sugar balance and suggest that you may not be getting enough fats/protein in your diet at that time or eating too much starch and sugar – even SCD allows consumption of huge quantities of fruit, high glycaemic vegetables such as squash, carrots and beets and even honey.

Some cravings are habitual – from the head as in comfort eating, but most come from an imbalance in nutrients and can be resolved by adjusting ratios.

Having said this, most people experience withdrawals and cravings for old foods when they change their diets and can often replace old foods with new ones and over eat on these instead. A common one is to replace a sweet food with a fatty one such as cheese, nuts, nuts butter or even just plain old butter!

Think about looking into metabolic typing to help you understand what your natural balance of fats, carbs and protein should be.

x x x

Reply

Hayley August 26, 2010 at 11:43 am

Annemarie Colbin’s Food and Healing
Kathleen DesMaisons’s Potatoes not prozac (don’t be put off by the title!! some great insights in this book)
I think Doreen Virtue’s Constant Craving (but I am not sure if that is the one that my psy of disease teacher recommended off the top of my head..)

Maybe finding a way to combine the 5-day miracle diet with SCD

Look into the rules of food combining as well. The previous post’s recommendations are great too with Metabolic Typing giving you the ratios which best fit your metabolism but they don’t say which foods to eat so SCD can be combined for sure.

Reply

Jordan Reasoner August 29, 2010 at 9:22 am

Naomi and Hayley, thanks for the insights and suggestions. I really appreciate it. It’s always interesting to put up a thought provoking post like this and get everyone’s great feedback and ideas on different things they have had success with. I will look into that.

In good health,
Jordan

Reply

Laura September 1, 2010 at 8:04 pm

I always heard that you can only crave salt if your body physically needs it. The honey/carbs could be the nutrients or blood sugar, or it could be the bacteria in the gut. I know when I started SCD, the bad bacteria went insane in their desire for sugar.

Reply

pippa September 6, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Hi Interesting post.
Maybe it’s calories that the body is looking for. That’s one thing I noticed about SCD that it tends to be low in calories as many people get most of their calories from starches.
Have you kept an eye on making sure your getting enough calories in there..
Pip

Reply

Steven Wright September 7, 2010 at 1:51 pm

@ Laura – I totally agree with you when I started the diet the bad bacteria and yeast inside of me where fighting extremely hard for more sugar and wheat.

@ Pippa – I know when it comes to my body that if I’m not eating enough fat that I will tend to be hungry and stay hungry all day and that usually leads to cravings.

SCD is not low in calories but some people just don’t understand how much natural food it takes to get the same amount of calories as when they were eating cardboard junk. I actually wrote a post about this here:
http://scdlifestyle.com/2010/07/30/are-you-starving-yourself-on-the-specific-carbohydrate-diet/

Reply

Christy July 14, 2011 at 10:55 pm

LOL, shots of honey. Raise sticky hand!

Mostly I crave sweets. I think my carb cravings were just habit because they’re either gone or easily ignored, whereas the sweet cravings are still around in full force at 3 months of SCD. Maybe in a year I’ll be over it, I don’t know. I’ve heard when you crave something in a tear-your-hair-out kind of way it’s probably something too advanced for you at your level, which leads me to think it’s bacteria talking….er, screaming. Hopefully in their death throes.

I’ve also heard a food allergy or sensitivity will cause you to crave the very food you’re sensitive to.

Reply

Leave a Comment