Cravings are one of the biggest challenges are patients face on their weight control journey. The problem is that for most people, cravings aren’t the body telling us the types of food we need to stay healthy, instead, they are a result of boredom, depression, stress, anxiety, bad habits or a need for comfort. Some people also experience cravings when dealing with low blood sugar or dehydration, but again, often we feel like reaching for potato chips instead of an apple.
At Blue Sky, MD, we are no strangers to assisting our patients with controlling their cravings and steering them toward healthier options. Here are some suggestions to help you achieve weight control success:
Change your routine
If your craving is linked to a certain activity, such as watching television, go for a walk, call a friend, or just wait it out for 15 minutes.
Drink more water
Thirst is often perceived as hunger.
Try sour and spicy foods
Sour and spicy foods are known to help combat sweet cravings. Add lemon to your water.
Limit refined flours, sugar, and alcohol
Look for hidden sugars on food labels—typically those that end in “-ose.” Common sugars are sucrose, dextrose, lactose, maltose, fructose, and high-fructose corn syrup.
Eat breakfast every morning
Start the day off with a healthy, well-balanced meal to help curb midday food cravings.
Have small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day
Eat every 3–4 hours. Preventing hunger will help prevent cravings.
Buy fruit instead of sweets
If you do not have sweets in your house, you have no choice but to snack on apples or grapes.
If you must have something sweet, eat smaller portions. Have one scoop of ice cream with no chocolate syrup. (look for lower calorie options, with sugar substitutes).
Exercise releases endorphins, which help to reduce cravings. Walk at least 10 minutes every day.
Reduce or eliminate caffeine
The highs and lows of caffeine may contribute to dehydration and blood sugar imbalances, making cravings more urgent and frequent. Instead, choose decaffeinated coffee, herbal teas, caffeine-free and sugar-free soft drinks, or water.
A Few Healthy Snack Options:
- Fresh fruit with greek yogurt based dip top it with (cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract)
- Baked Fruit Pears/Apples with cottage cheese or greek yogurt
- Vanilla Greek Yogurt with 2 TB unsweetened cocoa and splenda or stevia (mix together for a high protein pudding or freeze for a frozen yogurt
- Try Peanut butter or any other nut butter with celery or spread it on apple slices.
- Cottage cheese with fresh pineapple with chia seeds.
- Homemade smoothies with one 6 ounce container of plain greek yogurt, 1 cup unsweetened frozen or fresh fruit, 1 cup kale and ¼ cup almond milk or water.