Cravings are a message from the body that it needs something; either it is lacking certain nutrients, you are tired and it is craving energy, or it is telling you that an area of your life needs some attention (for example, are you craving sweets because you are feeling lonely and actually craving love/companionship?). Sometimes, we have cravings for food when we are really just dehydrated and needing to drink more water. To address food cravings from a nutritional standpoint, I like to say, “add in the good to crowd out the undesirable”.
Here are some ways you can do this:
- When craving sweets, have a piece of fruit instead of candy, chocolate or pastries
- When craving sweets, add more low glycemic sweet root vegetables to your meals for long lasting energy rather than going for high glycemic flour products and sugar
- Make sure you have enough fiber, high quality protein and healthy fats in your meals to stabilize blood sugar levels, provide longer lasting energy, create a feeling of satiety and curb cravings
It can be helpful to try to have set meal times so your body can get in sync with when it really feels hungry and needs to eat for energy versus eating for the sake of something to do. Make sure these meals are substantial enough to tie you over to the next meal and minimize the need for unnecessary snacking or “treats” due to cravings (or optionally have a light healthy snack between meals if needed for blood sugar stabilization or due to burning extra energy on any given day due to heightened physical activity etc.).