Indie Groundbreaking Book: Crave Reset
New Guidebook Explores the Science Behind Food Cravings
Almost everyone deals with some sort of craving during a given day. For a lot of people, that craving is for a cup of coffee in the morning. For others, it might be a bag of salty potato chips to counteract the mid-afternoon slump, a cocktail after work to decompress and relax, or maybe a handful of chocolate chips after dinner to appease a sweet tooth. Satisfying these cravings is something that is easy to justify, because doing so makes us feel good. However, as Dr. Elena Zinkov explains in this month’s indie groundbreaking book—titled Crave Reset: A Breakthrough Guide for Mastering the Psychology and Physiology of Cravings—learning to control or kick cravings can yield big, far-reaching health benefits.
Zinkov is a leading doctor in the field of naturopathic medicine, which uses natural methods to trigger self-healing in the body. Rather than targeting individual symptoms and trying to solve them one by one, naturopathy is a holistic method that treats “the whole person.” The goal is to bring about stronger health across the entire body and mind, all by addressing the foundational aspects that may be bringing about symptoms in the first place.
In this case, the symptom is a voracious, nearly uncontrollable yearning for food. This type of craving can happen to anyone and can always have an impact on health. A common misconception is that cravings, junk food, and massive food intake aren’t a problem for athletes because they will just “burn it all off” in workouts. When she was younger, though, Zinkov was a serious tennis player with thoughts of potentially playing professionally one day. As she admits in this book’s introduction, it was in part because of her busy athletic training schedule that she started to recognize her sugar cravings and the negative impact they were having on the rest of her life. She ate sugary processed foods because they were quick, easy, and gave her a much-needed jolt of energy. She ate them in large quantities because she was burning off so many calories and felt hungry all the time. But as she notes, her nutrition habits took a toll on her skin health and digestive health. Put simply, no one gets a “free pass” from dietary problems just because they are athletic.
One of the facets that makes Crave Reset so groundbreaking is how Zinkov acknowledges that food cravings are a type of addiction. Cravings for food aren’t unlike cravings for caffeine or alcohol. They activate the same pleasure pathways to the brain, providing comfort, security, energy, or relief from stress. Just as someone can be addicted to alcohol or drugs, they can also be addicted to sugar. In this book, Zinkov explores how the science behind craving sugar is effectively the same as the science behind craving alcohol. Individuals who are addicted to sugar can even experience sugar hangovers or sugar withdrawals—symptoms we never seem to talk about in our soda-and-candy obsessed culture.
We also don’t talk much about the many ways that food cravings can manifest. They aren’t just happening because you are hungry. On the contrary, sometimes, people will crave food even when they aren’t hungry, just because there are so many other factors at play. For instance, some people reach for salty snacks when they are stressed out. Others eat when they are feeling anxious, or turn to mid-day snacks to give themselves a boost of energy.
The reasons for cravings can also go deeper than responses to moods or energy levels. You may be genetically predisposed to crave sugar, as Zinkov is. Other factors could be at play, too, from neurology and psychology to endocrinology. And environmental factors also can’t be understated. For example, some people are more likely to crave food when they are in social situations.
The issues food cravings cause can also run the range. They include weight gain, problems with digestive health, skin breakouts, exhaustion, distractions from other activities, frustration, and more. They can impede your long-term health and wellbeing, impair your focus and productivity, leave you in a bad mood, and even affect your relationships.
Crave Reset provides a helpful perspective that people struggling with food carvings can use to break the cycle. While the book’s title posits it almost as some sort of scientific research paper, one of the charms of the book is just how readable and easy digestible (pun intended) it is. Zinkov writes in a conversational, down-to-earth manner throughout, explaining the science behind cravings in a way that isn’t overly technical or jargon-y. She also makes the book actionable by incorporating quizzes for readers to take, case studies to explain how cravings work, and tips for developing smarter eating habits. There are even recipes for healthier snack options, to help those of us who rely too much on processed foods. The result is a book that could very easily make a difference for its target audience.
Crave Reset is available for purchase on Amazon.com, in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle formats.
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Craig Manning is currently studying English and Music at Western Michigan University. In addition to writing for IndependentPublisher.com, he maintains a pair of entertainment blogs, interns at the Traverse City Business News, and writes for Rockfreaks.net and his college newspaper. He welcomes comments or questions concerning his articles via email, at manningcr953 (at) gmail.com.