Crave is an app that offers ingredients combinations that best serve your nutritional needs. We estimate the basal metabolic rate using formulas that have been verified and widely accepted by the scientific community.
While in most cases these estimations are accurate, a small percentage of people does not fit the mathematical estimates. Therefore, it is important to track your food intake, your exercise regimen and non-fitness activity levels and to contact your nutritionist to verify the accuracy of the theoretical model based on actual results you obtain in your weight management process.
The decision to focus our nutritional recommendations on whole foods came naturally, as our nutritionists have noticed that most clients struggle with appetite control and the perceived hunger intensity when using solely calorie trackers.
Most processed foods contain higher amounts of sugar and fats than the recommended intervals, thus resulting in higher calorie density than most unprocessed ingredients and they have lower amounts of fiber, thus reducing the satiety levels measured at +180 minutes after food ingestion.
Eating a diet comprised mostly from unprocessed ingredients is at the core of WHO recommendations for healthy dieting https://www.who.int/health-topics/healthy-diet#tab=tab_1 and is the easiest way to incorporate seasonal products in our daily menu, effortless.
Having a daily menu comprised of mostly unprocessed, whole ingredients means benefiting from a nutrient and vitamin dense food plan, while incorporating seasonal, diverse foods for high bio-availability of mineralS, vitamins and enzymes.
As most scientific research shows, calorie restriction is efficient in reducing body weight and fat mass percentage in adults. (Harvey-Berino, J. Calorie restriction is more effective for obesity treatment than dietary fat restriction. ann. behav. med. 21, 35–39 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02895031) and Most J, Tosti V, Redman LM, Fontana L. Calorie restriction in humans: An update. Ageing Res Rev. 2017 Oct;39:36-45. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2016.08.005. Epub 2016 Aug 17. PMID: 27544442; PMCID: PMC5315691.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315691/
However, severe caloric restriction has been observed to lead to reduced dietary compliance, decreased levels of perceived energy and decreased motivation. (Leah M. Kalm, Richard D. Semba, They Starved So That Others Be Better Fed: Remembering Ancel Keys and the Minnesota Experiment, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 135, Issue 6, June 2005, Pages 1347–1352, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/135.6.1347)
Since the data from scientific studies has shown that calorie restriction of up to 35% of estimated daily energy requirements are safe and tend to be beneficial when assessed for long-term effects (Vallejo EA. Hunger diet on alternate days in the nutrition of the aged. Prensa Med Argent. 1957;44:119–120. (In Spanish). [PubMed] [Google Scholar]) , we decided to limit calorie restriction in our diets to the limit of 1300 kcal, thus remaining in the studied interval that has been shown to offer weight loss results without associated risks.
Understanding food cravings is essential to weight management programs, especially since studies show that food craving follow a common pattern (Dieting and food craving. A descriptive, quasi-prospective study -Massey A, Hill AJ. Dieting and food craving. A descriptive, quasi-prospective study. Appetite. 2012 Jun;58(3):781-5. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.01.020. Epub 2012 Jan 28. PMID: 22306437. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22306437/) – chocolate is the most craved food and caloric restriction positively correlates with increased cravings intensity.
We advise for a rational approach, that eliminates guilt and reduces impulsive behavior. In our food cravings management protocol, the intervention is as follows – first, make sure you have eaten all the meals you should have, according to your daily recommendations. Then, make sure you drink all the recommended amount of water. After you wait 10 minutes, you can eat 20-30 grams of the desired crave. Eat it slowly, being mindful of its taste, flavor, and texture. Enjoy the experience as much as possible! Then, wait for another 10 minutes, to see if you still crave another portion and decide whether you want to eat the second portion, or you’re fine with just the first one. Feel free to consult your nutritionist on how to manage cravings and what better options you have available.
Our physical activity recommendations include 200 minutes of walking per week and 200 minutes of weekly, moderate exercise from workout videos in the app, in sessions of 20-60 minutes.
We acknowledge individual journeys, so we advise members to start gradually, at their own pace, if previously sedentary. Walking is the easiest physical activity to implement and should be the first step in becoming more active. Aim to walk daily, for sessions of 30 minutes.
Consult with your nutritionist regarding the best approach to including workouts in your daily schedule and always consult your doctor before participating in a physical activity program.
Sleep is one of the most important pillars of wellbeing and we recommend having enough sleep daily to wake up feeling energized. This should include a minimum of 6-7 hours of sleep daily.
Aim to sleep before 11 pm, to respect the body’s circadian rhythm. While we acknowledge that this is an ideal scenario, consult with your nutritionist on how to gradually optimize your sleeping patterns, should you have a sleeping routine that is less than ideal.
We recommend sleeping in dark, relaxing rooms, keeping a lower temperature than the rest of the house for improved rest and having a bedtime ritual to promote relaxing sleep – bedtime yoga, breathing exercises, a gratitude journal or any activity that helps you reconnect and relax.
Stress is part of being human and moderate amounts of stress can be beneficial for productivity and concentration. The problem resides when daily levels of stress surpass our resilience level, and they start to affect our mental and physical health.
We advise you to seek support to manage stress levels more efficiently by seeking medical and psychological intervention whenever you feel overwhelmed.
However, in most daily situations, stress management techniques are effective to improve wellbeing – mindful movement, breathing techniques for relaxation, mindful eating and journaling are all effective tools to sort out daily stressful situations and better manage them.
Organized daily routines, delegating tasks and bulk cooking for 2-3 days reduces time pressure, as does reducing time spent on social media, TV and gaming.
Emotional support is another important factor for dietary and lifestyle intervention adherence. Connect regularly with your nutritionist to better manage food-related emotions, attend our community webinars to connect with other cravers just like you and reach out for therapy support if you feel the need to.
Emotions play a huge role in our daily life and developing more functional and healthier behaviors are beneficial for wellbeing and emotional comfort.
Crave encourages its members to seek out professional support from doctors and therapists whenever needed.
We acknowledge the importance of discipline in creating lifestyle management programs, but at the same time we need to emphasize that maintaining a flexible approach regarding food cravings and social situations has been correlated with improved chances for long-term adherence to lifestyle intervention programs.
Consult with your nutritionist to manage social occasions- restaurant meals, family festivities and parties or any other events that affect your daily routine, and keep in mind that an 80-20% rule for food choices does not negatively affect weight management programs. That is, keeping “craves” to a level of maximum 20% or weekly recommended intake, while maintaining the rest of 80% from whole foods.