One of the most common complaints I hear from weight loss clients is that they are experiencing carbohydrate cravings, so I thought it would be helpful to give you a very brief explanation of some of the reasons this could be happening and suggest a few. ways to deal with them.
My first step is to make sure that you are eating enough food overall. It’s counterintuitive, but not eating enough can stop weight loss as well. You’d be surprised how common it is that people don’t eat enough and can’t understand why they’re struggling with fatigue and not losing weight.
The next thing to do is make sure you are eating balanced meals that include adequate protein, healthy fats, and fiber from non-starchy vegetables that will keep you full and satisfied and also stabilize your blood sugar. Of course, if you have other underlying health problems, you should try to address them with your doctor.
We often reach for a simple carbohydrate like a cookie, candy, or crackers when we start to get hungry or need a quick energy boost. This is where being well prepared with a better alternative will pay you huge dividends. Keep hard-boiled eggs ready to eat in the refrigerator. A small handful of dried fruits like almonds, walnuts, pecans, or pistachios is a great alternative, rich in protein and healthy fats that will fill the bill up nicely without fueling that carb craving.
Sometimes protein just isn’t enough and you want something sweet. Choosing a low-sugar fruit like berries or Granny Smith apples is a great option. Choosing a healthier carb option is also a good strategy. I’ve always liked making healthier substitutions. Keeping roasted vegetables that are well seasoned can stop the carb craving in its tracks. Roasted sweet potatoes seasoned with Himalayan crystal salt, Ceylon pepper and cinnamon are a very comforting, satisfying and much healthier option. So are cauliflower, broccoli, or roasted pumpkin. Beans and vegetables are also a good substitute for simple carbohydrates. Roasted, seasoned chickpeas are another quick snack you can whip up and enjoy every now and then, providing protein, fiber, and crunch.
The point is to substitute a higher quality carbohydrate or replace it with a healthy protein.
It is also important to realize that if you have been consuming simple carbohydrates on a regular basis, it will take some time for you to break that addiction. Don’t overlook the emotional component. Often times when a carbohydrate craving strikes, you are in the midst of a strong emotional reaction. Try to stop and analyze what is happening mentally and emotionally before giving in to desire. It is quite possible that you are just looking for comfort and there are better and more effective ways to get it than eating simple carbohydrates.
This is exactly why the Today Remains the Day plan addresses issues of the spirit and soul and not just physical nutrition and detoxification. You need to pay attention to your mental, emotional and spiritual condition and take them into account when dealing with weight loss and general health.
What triggers carbohydrate cravings and how do you manage them?