Food cravings can be habitual but they can also be a sign that you are not eating nutritious, balanced meals. Here are 7 diet tips to help with managing food cravings.
1. Ensure a low GI carbohydrate and a protein option for both breakfast and lunch. This will keep hunger at bay, aid satiety and help regulate blood sugars.
2. The 3pm craving – Craving sweet things at this time can signal that you haven’t had enough protein and/or vegetables/salad at lunch time.
3. Behavioural cravings can be formed out of habit so it may be worthwhile trying to break that habit. You can either try going cold turkey or try delaying the craving by doing something else for at least 10 minutes before eating the food like going for a walk, talking to a colleague or telephoning a friend.
4. Physiological cravings are often the result of a drop in blood sugars so to combat this try to have a low GI carbohydrate every 3 hours or so. A good snack option would be cheese and wholegrain crackers or a low GI nut bar or a fruit with 5 -6 nuts. You can read more about Healthy Snacking in this previous blog post.
5. Never feed a craving with what the craving really wants as this will simply strengthen it and will make it worse next time.
6. Next time you have a craving ask yourself if its really food that you need or are you just bored or covering another emotion. For more on emtional eating, read this previous blog post – Tips to Control Emotional Binge Eating.
7. Finally brushing your teeth, chewing sugar free gum or mints, or drinking water with fresh lemon or lime can curb cravings.
By Lynda Hamilton, an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist BSc, BHSc (N&D) at Hamilton Dietetics
As dietitian in North Sydney Lynda Hamilton covers Mona Vale, Kogarah, Collaroy Plateau, Dee Why, the Northern Beaches, Palm Beach, Newport, Narrabeen and Avalon. Read more about Lynda Hamilton and her dietitian practice in North Sydney at the Hamilton Dietetics website.
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