If you ask someone what their favorite food is, they are likely to respond with some sort of carbohydrate. This is because they are easy and tempting foods that our bodies continue to crave throughout the day. While you might have the intentions of eating fewer carbs, often the cravings overcome your will-power. Here are five ways to control carb cravings.
1. Realize that eating carbs is a cycle
The main cause of cravings for carbohydrates is actually eating refined carbohydrates, typically found in processed food. According to Marketplace.org, processed foods make up around 70% of an average American’s diet, and almost all of these processed foods have added sugar.
Unfortunately, this cycle is not necessarily a coincidence. According to Authority Nutrition, food manufacturers intentionally make and sell processed foods that are addictive.
Companies work with scientists to make products that containing the ideal blend of ingredients to reach the “bliss point”. The processed foods supply your brain with a rush of dopamine, which makes you feel pleasure.
That being said, being addicted to carbohydrates is similar to bring addicted to any other substance such as drugs and alcohol. The first key is to realize that carbohydrates are addictive on purpose and you have the ability to fight that.
2. Mix-Up Your Carbs With “Healthy” Foods
If you know you will not be able to stop after eating just one cookie, you can still eat a lot while also satisfying your sugar craving. For example, eat a handful of almonds with a small square of chocolate or dip some strawberries in chocolate. This way, you can give your body some of the good nutrition it needs while you are also satisfying your cravings for carbs. Plant based foods also is a good way to mix your bad carbs with other healthy foods.
3. Pick quality over quantity
If a craving hits and you just want to eat a huge chocolate bar or a whole plate of french toast, stop for a second to consider your options. Instead of eating a lot of low-quality food, choose to go out and buy a high-quality small truffle and slowly enjoy every bite. Alternatively, rather than going to that diner down the road for almost an entire loaf of bread covered in syrup, buy some high-quality ingredients to make a small portion of french toast at home.
4. Exercise Your Mind Off Carbs
If you know you are not hungry but you just can’t kick the craving, get a change of scenery. Get up and go for a walk or start on a different task. Soon, you will be able to forget about the craving and realize when your body is actually hungry and looking for nutrition.
5. Eat Fruit, A Good Carb
When you do get that feeling that your body is looking for nutrition, choose a sweet fruit rather than candy or doughnuts. Keep fruit on hand so it is easy to just grab and eat- just like a candy bar would be. This will help to satisfy your sweet tooth and fill up your stomach at the same time.
Controlling cravings for carbs is undoubtedly difficult. It is something you have to consciously do and remind yourself that you have more control over what you eat than the food manufacturers. Try to eat as many whole foods that come as close to their original source as possible.
Originally published at medium.com