How To Control Carb Cravings

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HOW TO CONTROL CARB CRAVINGS

Do you ever feel like your carb cravings are out of control?

Watch this video to find out how to tame those cravings and lose weight.

One of the biggest obstacles to weight loss is cravings, particularly to carb-based foods like bread, pasta, pizza, sweets, and chips. If you can learn to control those cravings then you’ll have a simpler time losing weight.

I’ve worked with hundreds of clients over 20 years to control their carb cravings and to lose weight.

I’m going to share some of my best tips with you today.

What Are Carbs?

When we talk about carbs, a lot of people think about foods like pizza or French fries or donuts and they think of those as carbs. And while they do contain carbs, they also contain quite a lot of fat.

They’re very high-calorie, hyper-palatable, meaning they’re super tasty, foods that are very easy to over-consume. So they’re very calorie-dense and then you can overconsume them very easily.

Weight loss requires a calorie deficit.

And if you’re consuming a lot of these hyper-palatable foods then you’re going to have a hard time losing weight.

Let me know in the comments what your favourite carb is.

Eat Protein At Every Meal

If you want to get your cravings under control, one of the most important things you can do is eat protein at every meal.

This is actually what helped me when I first was able to maintain my weight. Just having regular protein helps stabilize your blood sugar levels, so you’re not getting the big rise after you’re eating. And then the blood sugar drop, which results in cravings later on. Then you’re eating again and your appetite increases and then you have more and more cravings.

Protein helps to stabilize those blood sugar levels.

And it’s also helpful because it is the most thermogenic nutrient in that it burns the most calories for your body to be able to process it. So, it’s useful to have more protein in your diet anyway.

I normally recommend about 0.8 to one gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. And then spread it out. So, at least 20 grams of protein per meal or snack. And then that will be enough to kind of control those cravings throughout the day.

Increase Your Intake Of Healthy Fats

So fats actually have high satiety so they fill you up more than other things.

You’ll feel more satisfied with your meal if there’s fat in it as compared to a meal that’s just carbs or protein.

Fat contributes to the satisfaction of the meal.

It also contributes to the stabilization of the insulin levels. So, you’re less likely to get those sugar crashes two to three hours after meals.

Make sure that you’re including healthy fats. So fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, and different types of oil. Olive oil, even butter, and coconut oil are okay in moderate amounts. And you might want to try fish like salmon or sardines also, those kinds of things.

So, fat throughout the day. Add it to each of your meals and it’ll help reduce your cravings.

Drink More Water

So thirst can often be mistaken for hunger.

You may not actually be craving something but you may be a little bit thirsty. So it’s a good idea to have a glass or two of water if you are experiencing some cravings.

It’s actually a great weight loss strategy to have a glass of water about 20 minutes before you’re supposed to eat anyway.

Because that can often reduce the amount that you’re eating during that meal. And make sure that you’re hydrated throughout the day as well. Because anytime you feel fatigued or just thirsty then you’re not going to feel great.

And you probably will start to experience more cravings.

Increase Your Intake Of Fiber

Like fat, fiber makes your meal feel more filling. If you’re more satisfied with your meal, you’re less likely to crave something later on. The best sources of fiber, if you’re trying to lose weight, are vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, pepper, zucchini, onions, any sort of green leafy vegetables.

That’s great that you’re going to provide yourself with some fiber there. And also, they’re very low in calorie density so they’re filling up your stomach for a very small amount of calories. That’s why vegetables are so important along with, of course, their antioxidant value that lots of nutrients they have.

Vegetables for weight loss are really key because they fill you up for a few calories.

Other things that you can get fiber in, nuts and seeds also have that. Whole grains as minimally processed as possible are also good sources of fiber. If you’re really struggling with the fiber side, you can use a psyllium supplement, just something basic, a small amount of psyllium with lots of water.

And throughout the day, that can also help reduce cravings over time.

It can also reduce your cholesterol levels.

Reduce Your Intake Of Carbs Initially

Sometimes you just have to force yourself to have fewer carbs overall. And then eventually you will develop less cravings for them.

So if you’re constantly eating carbs, you tend to feel like you want more carbs. Part of that is because you’re constantly getting the insulin surges and then crashes. So you’re craving those things because you’ve got a lot of carbs in your diet.

After a couple of weeks of adapting to a lower-carb diet, most people find that their cravings are naturally reduced.

And that’s where you’re aiming for.

This actually helped me when I finally was able to stabilize my weight over many, many years, just reducing my carb level so I was on a slightly lower carb level. As you get more comfortable then you can increase your carbs. And then you get to a point where you’re like, “Oh, no, I’m getting cravings again.” So then you just reduce your carb level down.

Probably explain that in another video at some point but initially reducing your carbs can dramatically decrease your carb cravings. You just need to give it a couple of weeks to adapt.

So you have to kind of just stick it out for those two weeks and then you’ll experience lower carb cravings.

Stress Reduction Strategies

Everybody has stress. But not enough people are working to incorporate stress reduction strategies into their lives. Because it always seems complicated and a little bit ambiguous. You’re not sure how to do it or what to do.

There are a lot of stress reduction strategies. I’m going to create another video for you just about that.

Exercise

But things like exercise first of all, and you know I believe in exercise. Exercise can definitely help you to reduce your stress levels even if you’re feeling very stressed. Sometimes it’s best to just go do a workout and then you feel better afterwards.

Mindfulness & Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation can help for some people and it does take some time to get good benefits from that. So, you have to be patient if you want to get benefits from that. But other things, just taking time for self-care like having a bath instead of a really quick shower. Or just reading a good book that you’ve been meaning to read for a long time.

Those can be simple stress reduction strategies.

If you’re experiencing less stress, you’re less likely to be craving foods of any type.

Because often we seek food out of comfort, right?

So if you’re really anxious, you’re like, “Oh, just give me this food or this food”, or “give me these carbs just to make me feel better”. There is sort of that soothing effect that you get after eating those foods. And that’s a hormonal response that you’re having.

But the long-term implications are not great. So, work on reducing your stress levels and your carb cravings will also diminish.

So if you want to reduce those carb cravings, make sure you drink enough water, make sure that you have enough protein, fat, and fiber in each of your meals.

Work on initially just forcing yourself to decrease your overall carb intake.

Use stress reduction strategies to make you less likely to crave things.

Hopefully these tips will help you reduce your carb cravings.

Ivana Chapman

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 5-year-old boy. She is a writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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