Beating Food Cravings
Tags: weight loss (8), detoxification (6), candida diet (2), Candida Overgrowth (2)
My doctor recommended I do a 2 week trial of the anti-candida diet. I am struggling because I have such cravings for sugar and bread. What can I do to reduce my cravings?
Cravings for sugar can be pretty intense for people on special diets whether it is the Anti-candida diet, a weight loss diet or when switching to a Paleo diet. There are several dietary principles that can help ease these cravings. While you must be firm and dedicated in your quest to eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates, it’s also important to remember that the “sweet” flavor is part of a healthy balanced diet. There should be no guilt that you need a little sweetness in your life. Here are 10 ideas for eliminating the sugar and refined carbohydrates such as bread, pasta and pastries from your diet. Hope this helps and Good luck!!
- Include protein and a healthy fat at each meal and snack. This is very important!! These foods will help satisfy your hunger and keep your blood sugar stable. Protein sources include animal protein (chicken, turkey etc), fish, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds. Good fat choices include oils (olive, coconut, flax), coconut milk, coconut manna, avocado, eggs (both fat and protein). Drizzle oil based dressings over your veggies to improve taste and provide fat calories.
- Add a protein shake as a snack when hungry. See my blog here for a smoothie recipe. Be sure to add an oil such as coconut, flax or hemp and some fiber to make it more filling.
- Eat fruit as your sweet snack – Combine fruit with nuts and seeds or a piece of raw organic cheese to keep you fuller for longer. Try baking your fruit such as baked apples or try this berry crisp recipe.
- Find a couple recipes to make at home that you can eat as a snack or dessert throughout the week. Recipes with coconut milk, coconut oil or coconut manna make yummy tasty treats. Paleo cookbooks and websites are good resources. Here are some easy recipes ideas:
- Be prepared and find healthy alternatives to the foods you crave the most.
- Hail Mary Miracle Tarts are a great dessert option. These sweet treats are made with minimal ingredients mostly of coconut oil, almond flour and a little maple syrup or honey.
- Instead of ice-cream have some plain yogurt with berries and chia seeds.
- Instead of pasta noodles use spaghetti squash.
- Instead of bread eat brown rice cakes. Add some nut butter or hummus on top.
- Instead of potato chips eat black bean chips with some avocado (for fat) and salsa.
- Have a trail mix on hand for a snack when you need it. Mix nuts and seeds with some dried fruit (choose ones without sugar added).
- Use natural sweeteners in small amounts such as pure maple syrup and raw honey to satisfy sweet cravings. If on a no-sweetener diet use stevia or xylitol. Many of your favorite recipes can be made with these sweeteners instead of sugar.
- Supplements to help curb sugar and carbohydrate cravings:
- Chromium 200 mcg a day to help stabilize blood sugar
- 5-HTP – 50mg before each meal and at night if needed.
- Find a substitute to keep your mind off of it. Often we eat out of habit. Sometimes hunger has more to do with emotions that with real hunger. Find something that works for you, a healthy alternative to do instead of grabbing the bread or piece of cake. Here are some ideas:
- Find an herbal tea you like and drink this when you are craving things. Rooibos tea has a nice flavor and is a good source of antioxidants.
- Drink vegetable or bone broths. The extra minerals and nutrients from broths can help take the edge off. Not only will it give you something to do but sometimes when you have cravings and hunger it’s because your body is craving more nutrition. Broths are a great solution for this. Yes it’s better to make your own broths but if you can’t there are quality organic vegetable broths available for purchase.
- Start a new activity to keep you busy.
- Choose ONE day per week when you allow yourself to eat just about anything you want and have NO GUILT over it. Eat within reason of course but treat yourself to a delicious meal or dessert and enjoy every second of it. Chew slowly and consciously and make it last!!! (If you are on a therapeutic diet such as the, Gluten-free, Candida Diet or GAPS diet I do not recommend this once a weak “cheat”…sorry!)
- Take it one step at a time. It takes practice and time to change the diet. Prepare your weekly meal plan ahead of time to prevent grabbing something on the go that does not meet your diet’s requirements. And remember, even if you are off of sugar, gluten, bread or grains etc, food is meant to be enjoyed and savored. Your food is meant to taste good! Eat slowly, chew and enjoy every bite! Healthy foods taste good too, over time you will come to prefer them.
Dr. Joanne Aponte is a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor & Holistic Wellness Expert. She is available in the store every Tuesday & Thursday from 12-7 to help answer your questions regarding natural wellness.