Still craving carbs? Try these 8 tricks to kick the habit

A lot of comfort food contains carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, and grains. And when you’re craving some garlic bread, spaghetti carbonara, or rice pudding, it’s easy to forget that processed carbohydrates can make it harder to lose weight. Since some of these foods are processed carbohydrates and eating a lot makes your body work harder to break down the excess sugar, dieting can become a useless endeavor.

But don’t lose hope. You can stop your cravings for carbs by following 8 proven tips for dealing with these urges. Nikki Ostrower, a nutritional expert and the founder of NAO Wellness in New York and Dana James, a functional medicine nutritionist, came up with these tips to keep your carb cravings in check.

Curb those carbs

  1. Eat complex carbohydrates – According to Ostrower, carbohydrates can be divided into four main groups: beans, fruits, starchy vegetables, and white bread. The first three groups are complex carbohydrates that come “from the ground.” Since beans, fruits, and veggies didn’t go through processing, these carbs are actually good for you. If you’re stocking up your pantry, opt for quinoa pasta or spaghetti squash instead of “white carbs.” Because vegetables like asparagus and carrots are also carbohydrates, they’re a better source of nutrition and they won’t make you gain weight.
  2. Avoid white carbs – “White carbs” include bread, pasta, and cereal, and these are all made of white flour. Eating these carbs can wreck your carefully planned diet because your body will have a harder time digesting any food containing processed sugars.
  3. Choose healthy fats and proteins – Ostrower adds that you can replace carbs with healthy fats such as avocados and nuts. Healthy fats also help with your body’s ghrelin levels, which the stomach produces and is secreted when you’re feeling hungry.
  4. Opt for cheat meals instead of cheat days – Indulging in carbohydrates for a whole day could lead to inflammations, which might cause stronger cravings for carbs, negating the effects of your diet. By having cheat meals, you can treat yourself without going overboard with the carbs. (Related: Nutritionist reveals tricks for slimming down quickly; limit eating hours, don’t snack, eat light at night, among others.)
  5. Always eat breakfast – Contrary to popular belief, skipping breakfast won’t make you lose weight faster. When you eat breakfast, your body gets the food it needs after a good night’s sleep consumes your food stores. James shared that if you’re craving for sugar in the afternoon, it’s a sign that you skipped breakfast.
  6. Drink a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar – A small dose of apple cider vinegar, taken with some water, can help your body digest sugar. Ostrowers says this will also help with your carb cravings. However, check if your apple cider vinegar has processed ingredients that might increase your sugar cravings.
  7. Keep some chromium supplements to keep cravings in check – James also advises people trying to lose weight to take some chromium supplements. These can help a lot when you’re feeling the urge to eat food with a high sugar content. When you feel a craving coming on, chromium picolinate will provide your body with vitamin B and help you avoid any sugary treats. Consume only a maximum of 1,000 mcg of chromium daily.
  8. Make your plate “colorful” When planning meals, make sure that your plate contains 50 percent vegetables, 25 percent protein, and 10 to 15 percent fats. Fill up the remaining with carbs. Don’t fill your plate with carbohydrates, advised Ostrower. The “color” on your plate will come from the veggies that are full of nutrients that you need. James added that people who are dieting should limit their intake of starchy carbohydrates, such as legumes, quinoa, and spaghetti squash.

Substitutes for carbohydrates

It’s not always easy to fight against your carb cravings. If you feel like binge-eating food laden with carbohydrates, try eating more of these foods instead:

  • Berries – Indulge in  different types of berries like blackberries, raspberries, strawberries. These superfoods not only curb your appetite, they have a bunch of other therapeutic benefits as well. 
  • Cauliflower – Substitute mashed potatoes with steamed or boiled cauliflower.
  • Pancakes — Use whey protein powder in your batter for healthier pancakes.

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