Best Nutritional Tips To Combat Cravings
While you may definitely be suffering from food cravings thanks to boredom, stress, or simply that you have a deep love of food, they can also come about because you just aren’t eating as you should be.
If your body is not getting the food and nutrients it needs, this can create cravings to occur, which if satisfied, give it what it wants. Only, sometimes what it wants and what’s healthy are two very different things.
By making a few changes to your overall nutritional program, you can reduce the chances that you crave unhealthy foods, setting yourself back in progress when you succumb to eating them.
Let’s go over a few of the best nutritional tips that you should be using to help combat food cravings.
Check Your Meal Frequency
The very first and possibly most important thing that you should be doing is taking a closer look at your meal frequency.
Are you eating every few hours? Or, are you letting yourself go for four to five hours between meals?
The longer you go between meals, the greater the chance will be that you get ravenous, craving simple sugars as a result.
Your body knows that when blood glucose levels are low thanks to going too long without food, the fastest way to bring them up is through simple sugar rich foods. Think processed foods such as cookies, cake, cereal bars, bagels, ice cream, and as such.
If this is what you find yourself most often craving, eating more frequently throughout the day may help you combat this.
Ideally you should aim to eat every two and a half to three hours. This will keep your hunger down and blood sugar levels under control.
Evaluate Your Protein Intake
Next, you’ll also want to look at your protein intake. Are you getting enough? Protein is an important nutrient for keeping hunger controlled, which can also mean it influences those blood glucose crashes.
If you eat an all carb meal such as a plate of pasta with tomato sauce, you can expect to be hungry about an hour or two later. That type of meal just isn’t going to sustain you for very long.
By combining protein and a little healthy fat with your foods, you can get far better satiety, not feeling hunger creep on until that three hour mark when it’s time to eat again.
Choose lean sources of protein at each meal and snack such as chicken, turkey, fish, low fat dairy products, eggs and egg whites, or whey protein powder. These will be the most ideal options that will also provide a good dose of nutrients as well.
It’s also important that you reconsider your carbohydrate intake if you find that food cravings are coming on too regularly. This can go one of two ways.
Some people may find that they crave carbohydrates if they’ve cut back too hard. If their diet is very low carb in nature, this can mean all they think about 24/7 is carbohydrates. If that’s the case, you might want to reconsider the entire approach and instead, use a diet that’s more moderate in carbohydrates. Nothing says you have to go very low carb to see weight loss success. You can definitely see great results with some carbohydrates in the picture.
Alternatively, for others, eating carbs simply makes them crave more carbs. It’s like an ongoing cycle where the more they eat, the more they want.
In this situation, you might want to consider a very low carb approach. For you, this is going to give you more control over your food choices, increasing your chances of success.
You need to look at your own individual picture and adjust as necessary. Remember, what’s right for someone else does not make it right for you.
Plan For An Indulgence Meal
Finally, last but note least, make sure that you do have a plan to have whatever it is you are craving at some point in your diet. An ‘indulgence meal’ – sometimes called a cheat meal can work wonders to help you stick with your diet the rest of the time.
The minute you put a food off limits forever is the minute you’ll begin to obsess about it. When you change forever to later, your mind will relax knowing that you can have it later on.
This can help keep you on track the rest of the time.
So use these tips and strategies if you find yourself suffering from more food cravings than you should. They are going to happen to everyone from time to time, but with these you should be able to minimize their frequency.