Author: Holly J Coley
Do you crave peanut butter? I do. Peanut butter from a spoon, drizzled with honey or maybe in a bowl, sprinkled with dried fruit. Honestly, I’ll take the stuff however I can get it.
And that’s okay, in my book at least. Peanut butter (the natural kind) is good stuff. It has protein, a little bit of fiber, bone-building magnesium, and even Vitamin B6. It also contains monounsaturated fat which is beneficial to the heart. Now, here’s the flip side: At 180- 210 calories, it’s a bit dense, especially if you’re eating more than the 2 tablespoon allotted serving.
I don’t like to be too stringent when it comes to diets but when you polish off half a jar of extra crunchy in three days (like I have), it makes sense to wonder, WTF can’t I put down the damn bottle of Teddie? FYI, Teddie Old Fashioned Peanut Butter is my favorite PB brand.
Maybe you’re relating to what I write and fortunately, we’re not alone. A quick Google search shows that lots of people feel weak willed when it comes to nut butter. Here are three reasons why (along with solutions).
Many things can make hormones run amuck, from stress to that time of the month. Minerals, such as Selenium, Vitamin E, Iron, and Magnesium play vital roles in hormone health and they can all be found in nut butters which is why we crave them when our systems are out of whack. Solution: Take a multivitamin daily and find other food sources with these minerals, like raw almonds, kelp, and bran.
2.Your Diet is Off
If you’re avoiding certain food groups (ex: low carb diet) or restricting calories, don’t be surprised if you start intensely craving random food, especially nut butters. They provide all the macronutrients: carbs, protein and fat. If you’re not providing your body with the right amount of all three, it’s to be expected that it will send signals to your brain, making you seek out (via cravings) foods that provide them. Solution: If you’re unsure of where your diet is off, jot down what you’re eating for a few days to gain perspective. No food group is evil and while you should limit processed items, you shouldn’t avoid entire categories of macros. If you’re avoiding fat, try adding small amounts of the healthy kind (ex: coconut oil, avocado) to your menu. If you’ve cut carbs, try reintroducing complex ones back into your diet, like sweet potatoes, quinoa or oatmeal.
3.You’re Tired & Stressed
It’s no coincidence that we seek energy dense food when we’re sleepy or feeling frayed. Eating can not only provide comfort to some but the calories can give a much needed boost. Solution: Try to get some rest! Seriously, skimping on sleep wreaks havoc on the body and mind. If you’re looking for a pick me up, try a lower calorie (but filling treat) like hummus and carrots.
Everybody gets cravings sometimes and that’s fine. But if they’re out of control, it’s also okay to nix it from your life for awhile.