The Single Best Way To Curb Cravings And Reduce Appetite
Eating healthier and losing weight can be a real challenge when you’re craving foods you want to avoid and feel hungry all the time.
There are seemingly endless tips for curbing cravings yet it’s still something most struggle with. Typical approaches to lose weight are either eating lighter, low calorie meals, that are often unsatisfying, or restricting foods that are a part of your normal routine.
Both of these can actually make your cravings and appetite stronger. You might feel like you have weak willpower and feel disappointed or defeated if you fall off track. But really, the problem is in the approach.
The real trick to reducing cravings and appetite is stabilizing your blood sugar.
There are various ways to stabilize your blood sugar. Managing stress and getting good sleep consistently are important. But if you’re looking for something quick, that you can start today, focus on what you’re eating.
What you want to avoid are blood sugar spikes, because soon after a spike, you’ll have low blood sugar. Low blood sugar makes you crave carbs, strengthens your appetite and makes you feel hungry. You might get a little hangry too!
The main thing that causes a blood sugar spike (and therefore a low) is eating too many simple carbohydrates. If there was one thing to focus on for weight loss and feeling healthier, it’s the simple carbs.
Don’t worry, you can still enjoy carbs and achieve results. The trick is in how you eat them.
Eat healthier, complex carbs most of the time
When you think of carbohydrates you might think bread, pasta and potatoes. In reality, there are so many choices, both good and bad. The best sources of carbohydrates are beans (hummus counts too!), whole grains (like oats, barley and rice) and starchy vegetables (squashes and potatoes). Fruit is nutrient dense but can be high in simple carbs. Berries are the best choice for blood sugar, but all fruit, in small portions and balanced, can be part of a healthy diet.
The worst carbs (highest blood sugar spike potential) are refined. These are the things in a package (and sweets, baked goods), made with flours and sugar. You don’t have to ban them, but reducing them in your diet is best. Have just enough to avoid feeling deprived so you stay motivated.
Don’t eat carbs alone.
All carbohydrates can digest quickly (more quickly than protein and fat) and increase your blood sugar in varying amounts. The goal is to slow down their digestion. You can do this by simply balancing them with fat and protein. Some great choices to pair with carbs are nuts and nut butter, hard boiled egg, avocado and cheese, or as part of a meal with lean protein and fats.
Once you start focusing on choosing healthier carbohydrates and eating more balanced meals, you’ll notice that your hunger, appetite and cravings become less intense. Give it some time, you’ll find the combinations and portions that work best for you. For example, Greek yogurt, berries and toasted nuts leaves me feeling hungry after an hour, but an apple with peanut butter keeps me feeling full and satisfied for hours. Everyone is different, so find what makes you feel full and satisfied for hours, that's how you know you're keeping your blood sugar stabilized!