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How To | Beat Cravings

How To | Beat Cravings

How To | Beat Cravings

We've all been there. When it gets to that 3pm munch time and you’re craving for something, anything, to get you through the rest of the afternoon. I'm sure you find it as hard as we do to pinpoint the exact food you need to curb your cravings - so when you’re cravings range from chocolate to cheese we've got the perfect list that lets you know why you’re having these cravings and what you can eat instead.

Image Source: flickr.com/

Craving: Chocolate

What it means: You have your period, you’re pregnant or you’re in a bad mood

A change in hormone levels can increase your sugar cravings. It’s true! We associate chocolate as a mood lifter and tend to reach for it when we are feeling down.

What to have instead: dark chocolate, nuts, seeds, fish or leafy greens

 

Craving: Sweets

What it means: You’re stressed

Can’t get through that uni assignment (due today) without a block of chocolate next to you? That’s because you subconsciously crave sugar to give you some sweet relief when you’re stressing out.

You’re having too many processed carbs

Processed carbs like white bread, white rice and pasta spike your blood sugar for an instant boost of energy that often lands you in a slump afterwards. When we’re feeling down and tired the first thing we look to for a pick me up (other than coffee) is sugar!

What to have instead: A piece of fruit, beans, meat, nuts or dairy

 

Image Source: healthfitnessrevolution/

Craving: Salty Food

What it means: You've been eating mostly soft foods

Salty foods are often crunchy – chips, crackers and pretzels. If your diet has been majority made up of soft foods i.e.. yoghurt, smoothies or soups, your salivary glands and jaw muscles are missing out on that chewing motion. When you aren't using those jaw muscles enough they start to crave that crunching stimulation you get when eating crunchy (salty) foods.

You’re dehydrated

People often mistake thirst for hunger. If you have a craving for salt it could mean 1 of 2 things, you’re either not drinking enough water (salt helps your body retain water) or you’re losing water faster than you are ingesting it (through sweating, vomiting etc.).

What to have instead: dairy or green vegetables

 

Craving: Carbohydrates

What it means: You’re actually craving sugar

Your body reacts to starchy food the same way it sugar does. You may feel like eating pasta or white bread instead of eating sweets because they’re better for you.

Lack of protein

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian you may often crave sweet carbs because your protein intake is low.

What to have instead: beans, nuts, eggs, meat or fish

 

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Craving: Meat

What it means: You’re not getting enough protein

If you’re vegetarian or work out a lot you may not be fuelling your body with enough protein. You should be eating about one gram of protein per every gram you weight (1 gram protein = 400 grams body weight).

You have low iron or a vitamin B deficiency

If you have a heavy menstrual cycle or don’t eat enough red meats you can become iron deficient and leave your body short of essential nutrients.

What to have instead: Beans, legumes or dried fruits (figs)

 

Craving: Cheese

What it means: You’re actually craving sugar

Cheese is made up of more than just protein and fat, it contains natural milk sugars that trigger that sweet tooth.

You’re not getting enough calcium or vitamin D

All dairy based foods contain calcium and vitamin D and having a lack of these nutrients isn’t uncommon. 75% of the world’s population are lactose intolerant to a certain extent and many of us lack vitamin D because we aren't getting enough natural sunlight. Doctors order - sit in the sun with a grilled cheese sandwich!

What to have instead: Walnuts, salmon or flaxseed oil

 

You could also be experiencing any of these cravings if you are on a diet that is too restrictive. If you are cutting out whole food groups it is important that you are finding a way to still give your body the same nutrients you normally would.

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