Cravings: those intense, urgent desires for sweet and salty snacks. If cravings are the culprits standing in the way of your optimal health and slim down goals, well, you’re not alone. Whether it be a late night sugar fix, a calling for carbs or salty snacks – out of control cravings wreak havoc in healthy habit endeavours all too often. Discover how to kick cravings to the curb for good, in just 3 simple steps. Those poor cravings, they don’t stand a chance!
1) Know your triggers
One of the most powerful ways to stop a binge is before it begins. Start by keeping a food journal to help indicate which foods could be causing your cravings.
Be mindful of these common food triggers:
□ Diet Coke or diet beverages
□ Dried fruit
Is your sweet tooth sabotaging your goals? Well, it’s no coincidence because high-sugar foods increase your levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite and increases cravings.
2) Balance blood sugar
Do you find it impossible to finish the day without a little something sweet? In order to bust this type of craving, blood sugar levels need to be stabilized throughout the entire day. Here is a handy dandy tip to help you - eat 3 in 3′s. What does this mean? Eat a balanced meal of protein, healthy fats and high fiber/ low glycemic carbohydrates, every three hours. Set a timer to remind you fuel up and wait for that craving to be ninja kicked to the curb. Need help planning some balanced meals? I’m here to help:
□ 1 cup plain Greek yogurt + 2 tbsp of chia seeds + 1 cup raspberries (or mixed berries)
□ 2 whole eggs + 2 tbsp avocado on whole grain toast
□ Shake with 1 scoop of protein powder with 2 tbsp of chia seeds + mixed berries
□ Lean, grass fed (organic) meat , baked sweet potato drizzled with coconut oil
3) Question your cravings
“When you have cravings it’s a result of multiple physiological triggers that come together to signal you to eat, usually a sugary or salty food. In fact, the signal to eat can sometimes be so strong that no amount of willpower can overcome it.” However understanding why you have food cravings, gives you power over them. If carbs are your crutch when you’re feeling bored, sad, angry or stressed – stop blaming yourself.
Put simply, carbohydrates calm us. This is due to the fact that they secrete serotonin, our feel good hormone. So it makes sense that when you’re feeling down, that your body instinctively asks for bagels, pasta and doughnuts. But this surge of good emotions is quickly followed by a crash. Cue - guilt, shame and frustration. So when carbs come a callin’:
When making your exchanges, be sure to match texture and taste in order to successfully bust cravings.
□ Salty: Kale chips, dehydrated zucchini, sweet potato crisps, raw crackers (see: recipe of the week)
□ Chocolate: Add cacao to smoothies/pudding.
□ Ice cream: Try frozen coconut based smoothie
□ Pasta: The next time you’re at the health food shop – pick up mung bean noodles or kelp noodles.
Claire LeGresley, RHN
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Posts inspired by the team at Platinum Health & Wellness.