1. I generally don't eat junk food but just 1 bite on Easter now has me craving sweets. What do I do?
According to experts at Tufts University And Stanford University, certain foods, like drugs, can be addictive, and once you start eating them you can't stop because the foods changes your body's chemistry.
Your brain releases dopamine, the feel-good brain chemical that makes you crave more food. Foods with saturated fats like bacon and cookies interfere with your brains ability to regulate your appetite so you do not know you are full until you are stuffed.
Researchers say it can take up to 3 days for your body to flush these fats from your system and get your appetite back in check.
High sugar foods increase the release of a hormone in your stomach called ghrelin that stimulated appetite and increases cravings. With all these chemical changes, one unhealthy indulgence can end up triggering a major binge.
Try to avoid this cascade of chemical reactions by using dark chocolate as your treat since it is not very sweet and buy small amounts so you can't overdo it. Remember, out of sight, out of mind.
If you do overindulge, exercise seems to reset your chemistry back to normal so you have better appetite control.
Are cravings and food addiction more common in women than men?
Yes they are but researchers do not know why.
2. I have been tired lately. How do I know if I need B12?
Vitamin B12 has gotten a lot of press lately. You should have your doctor check your blood level of B12 if you take an medication that interferes with B12 absorption. These include drugs for heartburn like Prilosec or Nexium and the diabetes medication called metformin.
You will also have trouble absorbing B12 if you have an inflammatory bowel disease like crohn's, or simply if you are over age 50. Research shows 3.2 percent of people over the age of 50 are B12 deficient.
Finally, we only get B 12 from meat and milk foods. So if you eat a strict vegan diet you will need to take B12 from a supplement.