I have been having some stress in my life this past week. Stress literally makes me want to eat ALL THE CARBS!! Luckily, I have been practicing mindfulness and reading about different ways of doing low carb (which I will be talking about in upcoming posts), so I’ve been good and haven’t given into those cravings too much. I’ve kept myself busy so there is no time to give into the food cravings. So today I want to talk about how to make your cravings for starch disappear while following a low carb diet.
Don’t Starve Yourself
Going on a “diet” is synonymous with starving for many people simply because they associate “diet” with a significant reduction in amount of food consumed. This is where many people mess up. If you restrict your calories too much, too fast, you can actually decrease your metabolism and rev up your starch and hunger pangs. Long term calorie restriction is not your friend.
Eat More Protein
Protein is quite likely the most important macro-nutrient needed in the body. Without enough, you lose muscle mass, chemical processes in the body grind to a halt (AKA, your metabolism) and your subsequently burn less calories. But did you also know that people consuming higher amounts of protein in their diet have far less starch or sugar cravings? This is because proteins, and more specifically slower digesting varieties (such as red meat and casein protein) signal to the brain higher level of satiety. This causes you to have fewer carb cravings and become more efficient in weight loss.
“What? You must be joking,” is probably what’s going through your mind right about now. But, it has been proven and is widely becoming accepted that a reasonable about of dietary fat consumption is not bad for you, and is more likely to be beneficial. Why? Take a look at this:
- Fat is essential for production of hormones by the body. These hormones include sex hormones, and fat burning hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) as well as many other supporting ones. Restriction of dietary fat correlates to lower levels of these hormones
- Fat blunts your cravings for carbs or starch. Fat is extremely filling and satisfying. When taken with protein, fat slows down it’s absorption significantly. In fact, consuming a diet high in protein and good fats (such as those found in avocadoes and almonds) while subsequently restricting carbohydrates, can lead to profound body composition changes. This is also likely to be the best plan for long term weight loss and stopping starch cravings once and for all.
And just to top it off, did you know that many of the negative effects associated with fats are really attributed to when it combines with carbs? Who knew?
Eat More Frequently
Eating smaller meals, spaced more closely together is a better way for keeping carb cravings at bay than three large meals spaced many hours apart. Why? Because it helps to keep insulin levels somewhat stable throughout the day. And since insulin signals hunger and starch cravings when levels drop low, keeping it at a stable elevation prevents cravings in the first place.
Hydrate and Eat Your Veggies
I know you are tired of hearing me tell you to drink your water and eat your veggies. What if I told you there is a simple way to beat the carb cravings while doing the same? Interested? Here’s what you do:
- Drink a gallon of water a day. The easy way to do this is fill a one-gallon sized jug with water, and graduate lines on it that have to be drank every hour. Not only does this make it easy for you to visualize how much you need to drink, but it also keeps you accountable. Water is absolutely essential for beating a craving.
- Eat as MUCH veggies as you want. This will make or break your low carb diet. Let me tell you why; veggies are extremely low calorie, meaning that one or even two full cups worth is unlikely to even deliver 200 calories. Secondly, by eating a particular one that you enjoy, it doesn’t feel like a task and you feel satisfied in the process. A simple plan for achieving long term success. Eating more of your veggies than your normally would is always better than hitting the vending machine or whatever your carb-y craving is.
I hope these ideas help you in some way. I know, for me, knowing some of these things can really help. I find as long as I’m drinking enough water and getting my fat and protein in, my cravings are usually at bay.
I’m currently reading about Healthful Pursuit’s fat fueled program and am going to be implementing some of those things into my diet. I’ve got my Amazon order of essentials coming my way. I hope you have a great week. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions.
Talk to you soon,