Natural Cures for Carb Cravings
Curb Your Cravings
Discover the best ways to stop intense food cravings before they start
By Courtney Hargrave
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It's 3 p.m. That dreaded time of day when your energy plummets and your stomach starts growling. You know you should reach for the apple tucked away in your desk, but somewhere there's a Snickers bar calling your name. You head to the vending machineagain— just like every other day this week.
While food cravings can be brought on by a host of factors, including hormones, psychological motivation, and even boredom, according to Tanya Zuckerbrot, M.S., R.D., author ofThe F-Factor Dietand a diregular guest expert on FOX News, they are most often the result of low blood glucose levels. "Consuming a combination of lean protein and fiber at every meal, as well as eating at regular intervals, will help stabilize blood glucose levels and curb your cravings." Read on for more ways to keep cravings in check.
Eat a balanced breakfast:It has been well established that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. "Consuming breakfast is key for jump-starting your metabolism," says Zuckerbrot. But it'swhatyou eat that matters most. Avoid sugary cereals and refined carbohydrates (like white flour) — they'll leave you feeling unsatisfied, with the result that you'll be more likely to overeat later on. Some good options are an egg white omelet with vegetables and low-fat cheese, and peanut butter on whole-grain toast with bananas.
Choose healthy snacks:Forget sticking to three meals a day, especially if you often get hungry between meals. "Going a long time without eating can decrease your metabolism and the effectiveness of your body at digesting whatever you eventually eat," says Zuckerbrot. "Plus, snacking throughout the day can actually help reduce food cravings." Be sure to choose foods high in protein and fiber — they'll keep you satisfied longer and will prevent drops in blood sugar.
Reach for these snacks the next time you feel a craving coming on:
- 1 cup of low-fat yogurt, or 1 cup of cottage cheese, mixed with 1/2 cup of high-fiber cereal
- 1 serving of dried fruit mixed with 1/4 cup of nuts — try a combination of peanuts, pecans, almonds, and pistachios
- 1 piece of mozzarella string cheese and an apple
- 1 serving of high-fiber crackers with 1 ounce of cheese
Don't be afraid to indulge:Got an uncontrollable craving for something specific? Go on and treat yourself! Trying to ignore an intense food craving can actually make you more likely to binge. In a recent study of 134 nondieting men and women, researchers at the University of Hertfordshire School of Psychology in Hatfield, England, asked participants to either suppress all thoughts of chocolate or talk about their cravings. Women who tried not to think about chocolate went on to eat 50 percent more than those who spoke freely.
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