Our friends at wholebodyresearch.com tell us about a November 2015 London study that indicates that our cravings for things we shouldn’t eat may be caused by our genetic code.

Researchers at the Imperial College London located two genes (FTO and DRD2) that change the way your body’s reward system works. Endocrinologist Dr. Tony Goldstone says this impacts our weight-loss struggles: “It means they may experience more cravings than the average person when presented with high-calorie foods–that is, those high in fat and/or sugar–leading them to eat more of these foods.”

If you’re one of those people who just can’t seem to lose weight (and many of us are!), it may be because you’re genetically addicted to fatty, sugary foods. Sadly, no magic serum can change your genetic code and stop these intense cravings. But there are ways you can keep yourself from overindulging.

1. Eat more protein. The results of a University of Missouri 2014 study showed that eating a high-protein diet (1) reduces cravings for both sweet and savory foods and (2) causes your body to release dopamine (the “feel good” hormone). So eating more protein gives your body a long-acting reward instead of a short burst from sugary or salty snacks.

2. Never skip a meal. When you skip a meal, (1) your body goes into “starvation mode” that slows your metabolism and you burn fewer calories; and (2) you’re more likely to grab something sweet or overeat at your next meal. Better to keep a backup protein snack handy.

3. Keep blood sugar levels steady. When we indulge our cravings, it causes a HUGE spike in blood sugar, followed by major crash. Then your body will regulate your glucose levels by making you crave MORE sugar–creating that vicious cycle of spikes and crashes. Instead, carefully monitor your sugar intake, keeping it slow and steady, and avoid this dangerous cycle.

The solution? High-protein shakes, protein bars, and vegetables a plenty!

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