Learn How to Kick Carb Cravings to the Curb
When cravings strike, it is hard to stop yourself from giving in to the temptation, especially if you are craving carbs. From sweet pastries to pizza, carbs are all around us, making it difficult to say no. Although carbs play an important role in our body, the type of carbs we typically crave don’t offer the health benefits necessary to live a healthy lifestyle. Learn how to eliminate carb cravings with these 9 steps and take control of your cravings once and for all.
1. Include the Right Carbs in Your Diet
A common misconception is that all carbs are bad. This is not necessarily true. There are actually three types of carbohydrates: simple carbs, complex carbs, and refined carbs. These carbohydrates present themselves in different foods in the form of sugars, starches, and fibers.
Incorporating the right carbs is a crucial component of a well-balanced diet. This is because carbs are the main way that our body gets the energy it needs to function properly and efficiently throughout the day.
The best carbs to eat are complex carbohydrates because the energy they contain is released more slowly, helping you stay full longer. Some examples of complex carbs include whole wheat bread, sweet potatoes, and quinoa.
On the other hand, the type of carbs that you should limit in your diet are refined carbs. These carbs have been processed and stripped away of their nutritional benefits, such as fiber and minerals. Some examples of refined carbs are white bread, cakes, and sweeteners. Oftentimes, they have very little nutritional value and should be cut out to maintain a healthy diet.
The first step you should take when trying to eliminate carb cravings is to take a look at your current diet. Ask yourself questions like: How many carbs do I typically eat a day? What types of carbs am I eating? Then, track the answers. Write down the types and amount of carbs you eat on a daily basis. This will help you when it comes time to adjust your diet to include more complex carbs.
2. Follow a Plan
Next, it is time to create a plan. If you want to set yourself up for success and learn how to eliminate carb cravings, you need a game plan.
After tracking your current diet, you now have a better understanding of what should change in your diet. Create a meal plan for each day, including the snacks that you will eat. Play around with this meal plan and learn what works best for you. One easy way to do this is by using a meal prep service. They help you get all of the nutrients you need, in the right portion, while saving you time and money. Additionally, this helps you keep track of the total calories and grams of carbs you eat a day.
Some people enjoy having their whole week planned out with the same foods, while others need variety in order to control cravings. Make sure to include the breakdown of the different food groups you eat in a day. By having your day laid out, you will be less likely to give in to your cravings.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
It’s surprising how many people aren’t drinking enough water throughout the day. Oftentimes, hunger and cravings can be confused for dehydration. For most adults, the recommended amount of water they should drink a day is 8 glasses. If you are a very active person, make sure to drink even more to stay hydrated.
To further control your carb cravings, try to drink a glass of water about 30 minutes before eating your meal. This will help you feel full and control your portion sizes.
4. Focus on Protein
Most people associate protein with muscle growth, but did you know that protein can be used as an effective way to stay full for longer? When you plan your meals, make the protein the main part of your meal. Some great sources of protein are meats, fish, eggs, and beans.
An easy way to ensure you are getting enough protein in your diet is to track the protein you consume in your meal plan. First, calculate the amount of protein you should be consuming a day. Use the chart below to calculate the recommended amount of protein based on age.
|Daily Recommended Protein Intake by Age|
|1 – 3 years old||13 grams|
|4 – 8 years old||19 grams|
|9 – 13 years old||34 grams|
|14 – 18 years old (Girls)||46 grams|
|14 – 18 years old (Boys)||52 grams|
|19 – 70+ years old (Women)||46 grams|
|19 – 70+ years old (Men)||56 grams|
If you want to calculate a more personalized target protein amount, you can multiply 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. Once you have a target amount, you can see how you need to adjust your diet to reach your ideal protein intake.
5. Add Fat to Your Diet
Another dietary adjustment you can make when you want to eliminate carb cravings is to incorporate healthy fats into your diet. Just like protein, the right types of fat can help you feel full longer. Add servings of nuts, avocados, and cheeses into your diet. Also, you can cook your meals with extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil to incorporate more fats into your diet.
6. Increase Your Servings of Vegetables
A simple way to eliminate carb cravings is to increase the amount of vegetables you eat a day. Five servings of vegetables a day is ideal in a healthy diet. Not only are vegetables a great source of vitamins and minerals that keep our bodies healthy, but they are also sources of complex carbs, giving your body energy while helping you stay fuller for a longer period of time. The longer you feel full, the less cravings you will have.
7. Manage Your Stress
Keeping your stress levels low can help you eliminate your carb cravings, too. Because stress affects your body’s blood sugar levels, it causes these cravings to creep up. Try stress-relieving techniques such as meditation or journaling, and make time for things that bring you joy. Remember, it may take some time to figure out what works best for you, but it’s sure to positively impact both your physical and mental health.
The next way to eliminate carb cravings is by being active. When you keep your body busy, your mind won’t be focused on the craving itself. Not only will it help you forget about the craving, but staying active can keep you from eating out of boredom. A lot of times people eat because they have nothing else to do. Plus, staying active is another way you can manage your stress.
9. Treat Yourself Every Once in a While
The last step is to treat yourself. Yes, you heard that right, you can have a small serving of these carbs from time to time. In order to successfully control your cravings, it is best to not deprive your body of them completely. Ultimately, this can lead to a binge, which is less productive when trying to reach your goals. Incorporate a small portion of carbs you may be tempted to eat in your plan. It can help you eliminate the craving, and get right back on track with your healthy eating habits.
Learning how to eliminate carb cravings will be much easier when you follow these steps. By making a few changes in your lifestyle and diet, you can learn to manage your cravings and reach your health goals.
At UpFresh Kitchen, we have created an assortment of delicious, already cooked meals to fight those carb cravings. Now, you can have these meals delivered right to your door, making it even easier to start incorporating these steps into your lifestyle. Check out this week’s menu of high-protein meals that include a variety of nutritious vegetables that will help you manage your cravings effectively. Click below to order your meals!