Low Carb Living Made Tasty

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Hunger & Cravings…

Once most people get through their first week on a low carb diet they find that their appetite is reduced and their cravings have disappeared. This is because the body has switched to burning body fat as its primary fuel source instead of carbohydrates, so it isn’t crying out for more carbs, and the blood sugar level will be a lot more steady.

However, some people will still have problems so it is important to make the distinction between true hunger and a craving. Are you really physically hungry? Can you feel your body gearing up, ready for it’s next meal? Or is it really more of a “mental” hunger, perhaps propelled by a little boredom, or just a pure love of food and eating.

I like the mantra “it’s only food, it’s only food, it’s only food” when I have cravings, or start to obsess about something I know I really shouldn’t and don’t need to eat. I try to remember to see food as fuel (and a delicious one at that!), and that it does not have the power over me that we sometimes give it.

It’s amazing how much extra food we can consume in a day just by absentmindedly snacking on foods that we don’t really need. The key is to remind yourself that you have a strong will (yes, you do!) and “it’s only food”.

Another tip is to make sure that every meal contains a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat. An easy way to remember this is to use your palm as a guide. One palm of food is measured by the thickness of your palm minus your thumb and fingers. At each meal aim to eat the following:

Carbohydrate – 2 palms of low carbohydrate vegetables such as alfalfa, artichoke, asparagus, baby spinach, bamboo shoots, beans, green, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrot, capsicum, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, cabbage, eggplant, endive, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peas, pumpkin, radishes, silver beet, snow peas, spinach, tomato, turnip, water chestnuts, yellow squash and zucchini.

Protein – 1 palm of protein-rich foods such as beef, cheese, chicken, duck, eggs, fish, lamb, protein shakes and bars, pork, rabbit, turkey, veal, venison and yoghurt.

Fat – 1 or 2 tablespoons of almonds, avocado, Brazil nuts, guacamole, linseeds, macadamia nuts, olive oil, olives, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, as well as the fat that is present naturally is the above protein foods.

If you still encounter the odd craving then consider taking a chromium supplement, it can help to stabilise blood sugar levels.