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Understanding and Overcoming Food Cravings Through Gut Microbiota

Wayne Blackshear

3 min read

Jan 7

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The Hidden Influence of Your Gut Microbes on Your Food Cravings

Do you ever find yourself puzzled by the intensity of your food cravings?


Consider this: it’s not just about your willpower or preferences. Inside your gut, trillions and trillions of tiny microbes, known collectively as the microbiota, are at play.


Your unique microbiota, shaped by your dietary choices, exerts a significant influence on the cravings you experience. It’s a fascinating interplay between what you eat and how these microscopic inhabitants respond, ultimately steering your cravings.


The Microbial Battle Within

Contrary to what you might think, you’re not entirely in control of your cravings. It may take a second person perspective shift for you to realize.


It’s the microbes in your gut, constantly battling for survival, that sway your dietary choices. They send neurotransmitter signals to your brain.


When you consume a lot of sugar, you’re actually nurturing the sugar-loving microbes in your gut, which in turn intensify your cravings for sweet and ultra processed foods.


In the same way, if you eat meat and fermented foods, you’re feeding different groups of microbes, each promoting a craving for more of the nutrients they thrive on.


Each group will send neurotransmitters to your brain insisting on more of “that” food. Normally this is perfectly fine, but when your microbiota is out of balance and taken over by sugar loving bacteria, you get overwhelming signals from your little friends that you crave sugar. Giving in even once only fortifies their stronghold.


Breaking the Cycle of Unhealthy Cravings

The key to altering these cravings lies in manipulating the microbiota. Initially challenging, significant changes can be observed in as little as a week or two.


By controlling the food sources of these microbes, you can shift the types of cravings you experience.


This revelation debunks the myth that cravings are solely a matter of willpower.


You can do this too!


A Personal Journey: From Sweet Cravings to a Carnivore Diet

A year ago, I struggled with intense cravings for carbs, particularly fruits, berries, and dairy. Since I had a need to embark on an elimination diet I needed to get a handle on my cravings.


Attempts to switch to a carnivore diet were repeatedly thwarted by these cravings. However, working with Dr. Sean O’Mara, I learned that these were not mere lapses in willpower but the result of my microbiome’s composition.


Embracing Fermented Foods for a Balanced Microbiota

Dr. O’Mara introduced me to fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and blue cheese.


Despite their initially off-putting taste, these foods are rich in beneficial bacteria. I adopted a hybrid carnivore diet, initially restricting myself to meat, salt, and water, and then incorporating fermented foods to introduce beneficial bacteria into my gut.


Remarkable Changes and Lasting Effects

Within two weeks, my cravings for carbs diminished, replaced by a newfound preference for fermented foods. Nine months into this diet, my cravings have completely changed, allowing me to stay on track with my carnivore diet and address my autoimmune issues.


I have not had cravings for anything sweet in many months. They are just gone to the point where sweet and processed foods are repulsive.


Take Control of Your Cravings

Your cravings are not just a test of willpower; they are a reflection of the microbial life within you. Understanding and nurturing your gut microbiota can be the key to overcoming these cravings and achieving a healthier lifestyle.


For the first few days I used willpower, but I noticed changes after one week. It took me about a week before my taste for ferments became a positive one. Stick with it, you can do it too.


My protocol for microbiota optimization

  • Realize it is not an overnight fix, it is a journey and will take time.

  • Eat a carnivore diet, mostly beef

  • Include some ferments for the pre and post biotics, real food, not supplements

  • Incorporate fasting, at least 100 hours per week, the longer span, the better.

  • I like to do a minimum of 1 48 hour fast, and 16/8 the rest of the time.

  • I am not perfect, sometimes I skip, sometimes I go longer. It depends how I feel. Once my cravings were under control, I had a better relationship to hunger.


A Leap of Faith Towards a Healthier You

This journey has taught me that by understanding and adjusting my microbiota, I can effectively manipulate my cravings.


It’s a leap of faith, but if you are struggling with similar issues, a consistent approach to diet can lead to profound changes in cravings and overall health.

Wayne Blackshear

3 min read

Jan 7

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