You've probably noticed that you feel your strongest food yens at specific times of the day—or month. For most of is it hits in late afternoon (3-6 pm)..That's when our blood glucose drops, making us sluggish and in need of a lift. All it takes now is a cue—a fast-food billboard on your way home or a co-worker's candy bar—to bring on major sugar cravings or carb cravings.
Our bodies often associate food cravings with happy times we've had in the past. If a summer-night trip to the ice-cream parlor was a family tradition, we may find ourselves nursing sugar cravings for an ice-cream cone instead of choosing healthy snacks when the weather gets warm. Our mind is a powerful tool...Even with cravings. Ever see a commercial for food and your mouth waters?
When we eat meals that are lacking in one kind of food, we may be more likely to crave it later. Those who are on high-protein, low-carb regimens, for example, may have carb cravings later. When I have an egg and egg white omelet with veggies and cottage cheese for breakfast it always feels me up until lunch. If I just have a bagel thin w/weight watchers cream cheese....Well I am starving an hour later.
When eating a varied balanced healthy diet, you'll feel better and have more energy and better concentration. Protein and fat take longer to digest than carbs do, so including them, along with more fiber, in any meal means that you'll feel satisfied longer. When our meals are monotonous — the same day after day — we're practically guaranteed powerful cravings, even if your diet is nutritionally adequate.
Too often we'll skip breakfast or forget about lunch, only to feel a craving strike later in the day. Think ahead and plan a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner that consist of carbohydrates, protein, and good fats.
Your snacks, too, should be a combination of protein, carbs and a little fat, especially in the late afternoon, when cravings seem most urgent. Any of the following snacks can fend off a trip to the candy machine to satisfy sugar cravings: whole-wheat pita bread with hummus; a pear with lowfat cheese slices; a quesadilla (made with a whole-wheat tortilla); raw veggies with lowfat cottage cheese; whole-wheat crackers with peanut butter.
If your craving is especially persistent, denying yourself that cookie or bag of chips will only make the urge more intense. Allow yourself a moderate portion of the food you crave, deciding on the amount you'll have before you dig in.