The craving to eat food can be as specific as smells and certain flavors or as general as sweet or salty. Unfortunately, the common thread is the craving is usually for sugar or unhealthy carbs. Giving into the cravings can cause weight gain, inadequate sleep, and even worse, lead to diabetes and other serious health conditions. Besides drinking water before meals and when a craving happens, there are other dietary changes you can implement to curb those cravings.
Eating proteins will help with cravings. Proteins are rich in macronutrients so they will stabilize blood sugar, helping to decrease cravings. It also takes more work from the body to digest proteins. This helps to make you feel fuller, longer.
Healthy proteins to add or keep in your diet are lean meats, salmon, tuna, eggs, and nuts.
Decreasing your appetite and reducing cravings, fiber also makes you feel fuller, longer. This is because dietary fiber slows the rate at which food enters the bloodstream. This also aids in regulating blood sugar levels.
Fiber is found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, and seeds. Remember cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, are best. Higher fiber in fruit choices are raspberries, blackberries, pears, and apples.
Ever notice after eating certain foods, you immediately crave something sweet? Salty foods and foods that are processed, contain a large amount of salt. Our bodies naturally want to counter that with something sweet. The best way to curb the craving for sweets due to salt intake, is eat as natural as possible. This avoids unnecessary added salt. Skip boxed items at the grocery store, if buying packaged canned or frozen vegetables, opt for the ones with no added salt.
And if you are still having a ‘sweet tooth’ after eliminating processed foods, the problem may be a mineral deficiency. Unhealthy magnesium levels increase cravings for sweets. Adding magnesium-rich foods to your diet such as legumes, spinach, nuts, and seeds will help your levels. You can also take a daily supplement to help with magnesium levels.