craving (n) a powerful desire for something.
Yep, it’s happened to all of us at one time or another. That feeling after a meal that you just need something sweet!
Part of it is habit, the other part is having your nutrient balance out of whack.
What can you do?
1. Eat more protein. There are many studies supporting this and I have witnessed it myself and in my patients that adding more protein to your day can help with feeling fuller for longer, and help prevent grabbing something sugary later in the day.
Protein is especially important if you are vegan or vegetarian because plant based foods tend to contain less protein than the animal based foods.
Maybe a protein powder is what you need to reach your protein requirements? I recommend finding one that agrees with your digestion. Some people react to dairy/whey based products, so pea protein would be the next best option.
Aim for a palm sized portion with each main meal (meat or equivalent).
2. Drink more water. Water is essential to preventing cravings because if you are well hydrated, it tends to curb your appetite for a period of time. Drink 500ml water between meals, 4 x a day and see how you feel!
3. Buy some Raw Cacao and take 1 tbsp mixed into warm/hot water at the first feeling of craving. It will not be sweet, but it will speak to the brain and tell the craving to go away. Immediately. Try it for yourself!
4. Eat more good fats. Coconut oil, avocado, fish, fish oil, flaxseeds, nuts, sesame seeds. They will provide you with good amounts of essential fats which send a message to the brain that you are full. Not to mention, these foods are full of nutrients and fibre for a healthy body and digestive system!
5. Exercise. Maybe I sound like a broken record telling everyone to walk all the time, but it is such a good way to break the cycle of cravings that can occur with people over time. If you know you’re a shocker after dinner for eating too many sweets, then go for a walk instead. Get out of the house. Break the habit!
6. Drink green tea. I recommend making up a litre of green tea at the beginning of the day and sipping it alongside your normal water. It will help to quell cravings and keep you hydrated, as well as provide your body with some excellent antioxidants to prevent oxidative stress. We could all do with more antioxidants!