Do you ever feel that mid-day energy slump and need a quick pick-me-up? There are a variety of reasons that cause food cravings to strike. Sometimes it’s a wave of undesirable emotions that steer you right into the vinegar and salt chips. Other times we navigate toward old habits such as sweets after dinner. Surprisingly, most often our body is just a bit dehydrated and needs some good old-fashioned water. Before you reach for that chip or a bar of chocolate . . .
Ask yourself these questions
Have I missed a meal today?
Missing a meal or snack can cause your blood glucose to drop resulting in a desperate reach for a quick fix for something sweet.
How much water have I consumed today?
All fluids count toward your daily intake; drink when you are thirsty. Keeping a water bottle close is helpful for continuous intake throughout the day.
Not enough Z’s can cause increased cravings for sweet and salty foods. Sleep deprivation can alter your internal hunger cues, making it easy to mistake hunger for tiredness.
Healthy snacks to have on hand
Nuts pack a great protein and fiber punch and can easily satisfy your sweet and salty cravings. Assemble pre-portioned packets for perfect on the go craving busters. Whole grain toast with nut butter and a banana provide adequate satiation. A little dark chocolate is perfect when looking for a sweet snack. Dark chocolate provides a serving of healthy fats and antioxidants that ward off inflammation and cell damage.
Bottom Line: Having prepared portions of healthy snacks can curb cravings when you find yourself in that desperate moment. Be mindful of fluid intake throughout the day to assure adequate hydration. Eat a healthy snack or meal every two to four hours to maintain steady blood glucose levels. Finally, get your rest. Sleep does wonders for your overall health and helps to alleviate cravings.
Written by: Aimee Amacher, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern