Always craving something sweet?
Is one piece of candy just never enough?
The instant rush of energy and temporary good feeling that sugar brings us is often too hard to resist. But sugar’s instant gratification often leads to a not so desirable crash soon after. Looking deeper into why we crave certain foods and how our bodies work will help us make choices that support how we want to feel all day long.
There are many reasons why we might crave sugar which all have to do with some sort of imbalance in our body. Our bodies are marvelous because they speak to us, especially if something is out of balance. Cravings are no different and are our body’s way of telling us what we need.
We crave foods because our bodies need something; energy, entertainment, comfort, or possibly nutrients. Our bodies need calories and nutrients to work properly and are designed to get them together in one package. Unfortunately most of the foods we eat today are “empty calories” giving our bodies calories but no nutrients. Soft drinks, chips, most fast foods, and candy are all examples of empty calorie foods. So while our bodies are getting the calories they are still seeking the nutrients and in turn will crave more food. This can easily be seen with our desire for chips, cookies, and candy which in reality is often our body telling us we want and need more nutrients. That is why the more “empty calorie” foods we eat the more we crave them.
So how do we stop these cravings? Fill up on “nutrient dense foods” which give our bodies calories and nutrients. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean meats, nuts, and beans are all example of nutrient dense foods.
Here are my top 3 tips to incorporate more nutrient dense foods into your diet so you can spend your time dreaming up something other than desserts:
1. Eat Whole Grains
Switching from refined white flours to whole grain products is one of the easiest ways to start eating more nutrient dense foods. Here are some examples:
Whole grain bread instead of white bread
Whole grain tortilla or brown rice tortilla instead of white flour tortilla or white rice tortilla
Brown rice instead of white rice
2. Snack on fruits and veggies
Try chopping on fresh fruit and veggie sticks instead of chips and candy. I promise you will feel better and reduce your cravings for junk food throughout the day.
3. Stock up on frozen vegetables
Have a bag of frozen vegetables in your freezer and throw them on anything and everything to increase your nutrients during the day. Try adding them to your favorite soup, pasta, or on your next pizza.
Don’t just take my word for it. Try it for yourself. See if these simple tips reduce your sweet tooth and your cravings.