Not all cravings are created equal. While you may crave a certain food like chocolate at a certain time of the month, or reach for a bag of potato chips when you are having a rough day, there are sometimes other factors at play.
Here we look at the main offenders when it comes to cravings; offer reasons why they may be happening; and look for healthier alternatives.
The craving: potato chips
Craving salty foods like potato chips could be stress related. When you are stressed your adrenal glands release the hormone cortisol, which can leave you feeling like a crunchy, salty, carb-loaded snack is all that will help.
Try to determine the causes of the stresses and see how you can counteract them. If it’s your kids causing you stress, perhaps working on some deep breathing exercises could help to bring the stress levels down. You could also try to schedule a time in your week for some yoga and Pilates, which teach you breathing techniques that are proven to lower stress levels.
- The swap: instead of potato chips or hot chips, try some air popped popcorn, salt-reduced pretzels, veggie sticks with low fat dip or salsa.
- Want a really delicious treat? Try kale chips – simply place some pieces of kale (around 5cm x 5cm) on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and (a little) salt. Bake in the oven at 180C until crisp.
The craving: sweet things
Many of us reach for the lolly bag to give us a lift around 3pm. Most likely you are simply experiencing a blood sugar lull. Having some sugar at this time will make you feel a little better, but then you will experience the sugar crash which leads you to want more more more to feel good again.
- The swap: if you are following the plans but still feeling the blood sugar ups and downs, you may need to ensure that you are having your 2 healthy snacks per day. Try some yoghurt, a chocolate flavoured Healthy Mummy Smoothie, a handful of nuts, some chopped up fruit.
- Want a really delicious treat? Chop up some ripe banana into bite size pieces, and place on a tray in the freezer. Once frozen, pop them into a zip lock bag for storage in the freezer. When you fancy a sweet treat, grab one of these – they taste like banana ice cream.
How To Beat The Cravings:
- Did you know that the majority of cravings can be beaten by drinking water? Often we are actually thirsty when we think we are hungry. Have a tall glass of water and wait 20 minutes before you decide whether you need to eat something.
- Distraction. Do something else – tidy a drawer, go for a walk, do some washing up, do a puzzle with the kids. Try anything to keep your mind off the craving and that might just help you beat it.
- Remove the offending items from the house. It is much easier to ‘just say no’ to a bag of corn chips if they are not staring at you every time you open the pantry. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Don’t let yourself get out-of-control hungry. By following the Lose Baby Weight plans you will be eating 3 main meals and 2 snacks per day. This should keep blood sugar levels stable enough that you won’t actually be so hungry that you can’t resist.
- Nibble on some nuts or fruit. Sometimes it’s just the crunch we are seeking, or perhaps a distraction from a stressful task or deadline. Keep healthy (but tasty) snacks on hand and you won’t feel as though you are missing out.
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