Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Cure your cravings

In the most part healthy eating is about making sensible choices: brown bread instead of white, salad instead of chips, one biscuit instead of a whole packet!

However if you get a real craving for a food it's very difficult to apply rational thought and talk yourself out of indulging. So if you crave certain foods what can you do about it?

Tea and coffee - as caffeine is a drug, cravings are inevitable especially if you're trying to cut down. The best approach is to gradually reduce your intake, rather than going cold turkey. Drink half a cup and then bin the rest, or work down to lower caffeine drinks so from coffee to tea to green tea to white tea. Eating low glycemic carbs and staying hydrated will keep energy levels up - and if you feel you really need the caffeine to stay awake drink a large glass of water, wait 15 minutes and see if you still need it.

Wheat - It is fairly common to crave the foods you are intolerant to and i think a lot of people have wheat or gluten intolerances without realising it. Unfortunately the cure for this craving is to avoid the food altogether, but you can make it easier on yourself by substituting with a wheat-free alternative such as gluten free bread or gluten free pasta. Also pay attention to cravings for other foods which you might also have an intolerance too.

Salty snacks - if you find all food tastes bland without salt then you've probably been adding to much and your taste buds have gotten used to it so you need to cut down. If however you have random cravings for salty foods then you may have overworked adrenal glands, which need sodium to help your body cope with stress. Avoid the crisps and instead go for lightly salted nuts or a rice cake spread with a small amount of marmite. Evaluate what causes stress in your life and how you can reduce these stressors and schedule in some regular relaxation.

Sugar - often craved when you're tired or if you have irregular blood sugar levels. Chromium drops and cinnamon are great for countering sugar cravings and when you do get them satisfy your sweet tooth with some fruit. Also remember to get plenty of sleep and eat regular meals and snacks.

Chocolate - one of the most craved foods and not just for the sugar content. Craving chocolate may be a sign of low magnesium levels so when you have a chocolate craving try a magnesium rich snack such as nuts and seeds. And remember a couple of squares of dark chocolate is much better for you than any amount of dairy milk!


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