Food cravings – a strong desire for a specific food at a particular time – can make choosing the right foods at the right times very challenging for many people. When new clients come in for a consultation, I often hear them talk about their “cravings”. Most of them think that they can’t be eliminated – hence this blog post, which explains how they can!
Here are some key strategies for beating food cravings:
Eat fiber. This is my favorite nutrient for fat loss strategy. Fiber helps with digestion and is digested slowly, giving us the sensation of fullness for longer.
Foods rich in fiber are legumes (e.g. beans), fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Women should consume 30 grams and men 35 grams of fiber each day to reduce caloric intake.
Eat protein at every meal. A meal rich in carbohydrates causes blood sugar fluctuation, which leaves you feeling tired, hungry, moody and even weak. Protein helps keep your body from converting carbohydrate to body fat. In this combination, carbs are used for energy, not fat storage.
Excellent protein sources are lean grass fed meats, free range poultry, fish (wild are the best), free range eggs, low fat dairy and unprocessed organic soy products. Generally, the size of your palm is the amount of protein you should consume.
Eat healthy fat. Fat is a very calorie-dense nutrient, and you should eat fat in moderation – but fat is needed to lose weight! Fat provides flavor to our food, gives us the sensation of fullness and has a positive impact on slowing insulin response, similar to protein.
The best healthy fat sources are nuts and seeds, avocados, olives and oily wild fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel or trout. The fat source you choose should be about the size of your thumb.
Drink water and eat food high in water. You should drink water throughout the day, but it doesn’t provide the same level of feeling satisfied as when you eat foods high in water. Foods high in water are naturally very low in calories in general – making them ideal for fat loss.
The best sources of ‘watery foods’ are fruits and vegetables; many of them contain 90 – 98 percent water! My best choices of hydrating foods are: grapefruit (medium) contains only 30 calories and 90% water; cucumber (1 cup) contains 14 calories and 96% water; strawberries (1/2 cup) contain 23 calories and 92% water. The serving size of these foods should be the size of your fist.
If you need help to reach your goals, please contact me. You deserve to have the body you always dreamed of!
Eat well and stay fit!
Maria Pawlicka, BAA, M.Sc., CNP
Certified and Registered Nutritionist