You’ve been doing so well and then you have a rough day, skip a meal, or for no foreseeable reason BAM! You are hit with a food craving. Maybe it’s just a general urge to eat whatever you see first, or a specific craving for chips, or something sweet. You had the best of intentions but your body is working against you. Sometimes you can fight it, sometimes you just can’t.
Food cravings are real, and they can seriously derail your weight loss plans if they occur on a regular basis (or cause you to overdo it instead of enjoying a reasonable portion of a treat food).
Is there anything you can do in terms of your diet to avoid getting food cravings?
By adding protein to your meals you can really start to cut down on your cravings. Feeling satisfied for longer and feeling full are just some of the benefits, and adding things like nuts seeds and beans are an easy way to boost your protein each meal. When you feel full, you are less likely to give in to hunger drives making you want those high sugar/fat foods that you know aren’t healthy.
Fluids/water rich foods
Hunger is often mistaken for dehydration and a great way to fight cravings is to have a tall glass of water. Adding water rich foods like tomato and cucumber, or other non starchy vegetables and moderate amounts of fruit to your meals also helps to rehydrate you, as well as offering volume which aids in helping you feel fuller for longer.
Sugar free gum
Sometimes cravings can be dealt with by in a sense tricking your brain a little to think you are eating something sweet, at least until the craving passes. Something about the minty taste also helps to alleviate cravings, and the chewing action can help distract you temporarily.
Low GI Foods
Low GI goods are a fantastic way to avoid cravings as your body takes longer to digest these, helping you feel satisfied for longer. Low GI foods also avoid that nasty insulin spike that other higher GI foods can give you, and the associated blood sugar crash afterwards that get you craving those less than ideal food choices.
Fruits containing pectin
Along with aiding digestive issues, pectin can help curb cravings as its a high source of fibre that comes naturally from fruits, vegetables and seeds. Like some of the others, it also helps give you the satisfied feeling that stops you reaching for some chips!
We hear it all the time… are you getting enough fibre? What you may not realise is that eating fibre rich food is another great way to stop your cravings in their tracks. It also aids in digestion to help keep bloating at bay, and lowers the GI of food.
If you’re craving something and that tall glass of water isn’t helping anymore its time to switch it up. A nice warm mug of green tea is a great way to feel like your having something cheeky and a sneaky 5 minutes to yourself at the same time. As an added bonus, green tea is thought to reduce your appetite by activating the sympathetic nervous system.