Melissa TuckerPurica Ambassador Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of Purica Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. There are four key hormones that drive our brain chemistry and control our appetite and metabolism. When you learn how to control and balance these four hormones, your cravings will quickly be gone and your “will power” can be used for other things in life! Insulin: released in the pancreas in response to eating sugar or starch. It then triggers belly fat storage and interferes with appetite control in the brain. PYY: is produced in the intestine and puts the brakes on your appetite. Cortisol: is the stress hormone pumped out by the adrenal glands. During chronic stress it causes increased hunger, belly fat storage and loss of muscle. Ghrelin: is the hunger hormone produced in the stomach. By adding simple healthy food and lifestyle habits to your daily routine you can control your cravings and feel consistently in control of what you eat and how your body feels! Here are 10 things to start today to stop your to cravings: Cut out sugar and white flour. Go cold turkey. Cut out all artificial sweeteners. Increase fiber. Add fresh veggies and fruits to your day or 1-2tsp. of Fiberlicious to your smoothie or food snacks! Eat protein for breakfast. Focus on proper food portion size and proportion ratio of protein, carbs and fats to suit your lifestyle. Wait 20 min before having an additional serving of something. It takes that long for your small intestine to receive the food chewed and put a stop on the hunger signals to your brain. Put your fork down between bites. It will slow you down and allow for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. Sleep 7-8 hours per night. People who lost just 1-2 hours of sleep craved more carbs and sugar and ended up eating a surplus of both in the following days. Breathe. The simplest and quickest way to relax and reduce cortisol level is to take five breaths that take 12 seconds. Meaning count to five as you inhale. Then hold for two seconds and then exhale for a count of five. Do it five times. Warning: you may feel light headed the first few times you do this. Increase exercise. Your body was built to move! This is one habit you want your body to crave! For more information, check out www.melissatucker.com or email Purica Ambassador Melissa Tucker at firstname.lastname@example.org. And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness *A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At Purica, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.