Do you have food cravings?
I have lost count of the times that my clients tell me about their 3-4 pm food cravings.
How all is going well with their healthy eating routine UNTIL it gets to mid-afternoon…
This is when they tend to reach for the biscuit tin or to grab a bar of chocolate.
Does this happen to you?
I know I have experienced this in the past, and willpower alone was just not enough to stop me from reaching for something sweet and sugar loaded.
Whether it’s cravings for chocolate, crisps or high-sugar or high-carbohydrate snacks, food cravings are real and often increase during the lead-up to your period.
One of the reasons for this could be linked to what you are eating for breakfast or your first meal of the day.
This can be the meal that sets up your energy levels and blood sugar balance for the entire day… and if it doesn’t include a balance of protein, healthy fats and fibre could lead to those afternoon cravings
Quality protein sources.
Protein is essential for building and repairing every cell in your body. If you are not eating enough protein, you can feel run down, lethargic, and weak. It also helps to slow down digestion and keep your blood glucose balanced. Protein sources include meats, poultry, eggs, fish, and seafood. You can also get protein from plant-based sources such as beans and legumes, lentils, nuts and seeds.
Healthy fats support brain and heart health whilst providing your body with energy and helping to keep you full for longer. Choose omega-3 fats from foods such as nuts and seeds, avocados and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. Use olive oil, avocado oil or sesame oil instead of vegetable oils.
Get your fibre and carbohydrates mainly from vegetables and some fruits.
The fibre found in vegetables helps balance blood sugar, can improve digestion and support your gut health. Aim to eat 30 different plant-based foods a week. In addition to vegetables and fruits, this could also include beans and pulses and nuts and seeds.
Typical breakfast foods do not contain these…
Eating these 5 types for breakfast could sabotage your energy levels and increase cravings
- Cereals and many shop-bought granolas
- Toast and jam/marmalade/most spreads
- Fruit-based smoothies/juices
- Traditional porridge
Here are 5 breakfasts options you may like to try instead
- A protein-based, fruit and veggie smoothie
- 2-3 eggs as an omelette, poached, scrambled or boiled with veggies and avocado
- Overnight steel-cut oats (30-40g) with chia seeds (1 tbsp), 180 ml of almond milk, a scoop of vanilla protein powder and berries or a grated apple
- 180-200g of Greek yoghurt with berries and 1 tbsp of hemp seeds
- Last night’s dinner for breakfast
Blood sugar imbalances are not the only potential reason you may be experiencing food cravings
A lack of sleep, or poor quality sleep, could adversely affect your levels of hunger hormones, making you feel ravenous and in need of a quick energy fix. This can often mean cravings for high-sugar or high-carbohydrate foods. Prioritising and protecting your sleep could help to fix this. Find out how here
Compromised gut health
Imbalances of bacteria in your gut could be a cause of food cravings. Feel-good neurotransmitters are also released in your gut once you eat something that satisfies your craving. These messages travel from your gut to your brain and can reinforce the message that this food makes us feel good. Getting your gut health tested and supporting your gut health could help to curb these cravings
Research has shown that high levels of stress and stress hormones can lead us to crave high-sugar and fatty foods for energy. It is believed that these types of foods may even dampen our stress response and counteract stress. Finding ways of managing levels of stress hormones and building stress resilience could help counteract this.
To find out more about how a nutrition and testing package could help you, book a free review call here