Restriction and Sweets

You have no idea how many times I have someone come to me asking this. So, lets just say this post is long overdo. I would make a video but I always forget things I want to say when I talk and I am not a fan of hearing myself on camera, hah…. maybe one day.

Okay, so you more than likely clicked on this post because you have dealt with restriction and/or the immense sweet cravings that come with it. I am going to make this as easy to understand as I can 🙂

When you are restricting your body of adequate food/nutrition, your body goes into a “survival mode”. *This does NOT mean you are at a low weight necessarily, although it’s 100% true if you are underweight.

Restriction is when you are depriving yourself of food or avoiding certain things because X,Y, or Z, putting your body in a caloric deficit. This may either lead to weight loss, dizziness, fatigue, hanger, and/or extreme cravings. (To the grammar police, I said hanger and I meant it)

Let me put it this way…. When you are under eating what you should be or avoiding foods you crave, your brain is the first to be affected. Because our bodies run primarily on carbohydrates to function, your brain will let you know by losing concentration, being tired, sluggish, and of course hungry.

We all have a hormone called leptin. It targets the hypothalamus in the brain to control hunger and fullness. When you start losing weight, your leptin decreases as well which causes an increase in appetite and basically tells the brain you are starving. So your body tries everything it can to regain the weight lost to get back to it’s optimal weight. This may be the reason you constantly think about food and is another reason diets DON’T WORK. As you can see, it’s very important to have healthy leptin levels as it controls several bodily systems.

For those on the road to recovery from an eating disorder, these cravings are nothing to be ashamed of or worried about. It happens to everyone and it is just apart of the process. Now am I saying you have to have sweets every single time you crave them? No. But definitely do not avoid those cravings. That only keeps that particular food on your mind until you have it (can lead to binging). Honor them and have a treat when you want. You can gain weight on the safest and lowest calorie diet foods but that is not going to make you mentally recover. It just doesn’t work that way. You have to give up all the control and trust that what you are doing is for a healthy you.

Another cause of the intense sweet craving is low blood sugar levels. If you aren’t eating enough carbs or sugars in your diet, you better start. Especially if you keep feeling light-headed. No one likes to be around a crazy carb-avoider that looks like they will eat someone’s head off. But seriously, listen to your body and know what it’s individual needs are. You may be a person that needs more carbs than someone else to feel satisfied and to run your best. I am definitely one of those people. I like to have a snack only a few hours (or 30 minutes….) after a meal or else I get shaky and really irritable.

Mini rant:

You know those people on Instagram that have a day’s worth of food at the end of the night every single night? It’s because they restrict there intake during the day to satisfy all their sweet tooth cravings and not feel bad about it. But think about it, is that healthy for your body in the long run? I’m not saying eating sugar is bad for you, but it starts becoming a mental addiction to have tons of protein bars, diet ice creams, and sweets at night and the cycle continues. If they ate a normal amount of food during the day they wouldn’t be doing that. Not sorry if this offends people, you know I’m right. I am sorry for those that don’t realize they have this problem and continue to do it for more followers. K bye.


What are your thoughts on this?

Do you listen to you body?


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jennifer Pellegrino says:

    Emily, this is one of the best things I’ve ever read in regards to recovery! I’m hypoglycemic, which basically means I just have low blood sugar ALL THE TIME. As a result, I have a rather large sweet tooth 😊 And I struggle with guilt over how much I crave carbs and how often I feel the need to eat, even after a full meal! All that to say, this post put me so much at ease to continue in the process of finding balance, even after stuffing my face with bread and honey!


    1. Emmy says:

      Nothing wrong with that. Everyone is different and as long as you know what YOU need, you are doing the right thing 🙂


  2. Sarah says:


    Just a quick question. Do the urges to binge/overeat go away once you begin to eat enough in recovery or only after you are full weight restored? I am having trouble with binging/binging urges and it honestly freaks me out.


    1. Emmy says:

      Well, to be honest I never struggled with binging or urges to binge but I did get extreme cravings when I was gaining weight. It DOES go away when you reach a healthy weight and maintain it for a while. Just keep eating enough and make sure to eat what you want right now.


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