How to Control Food Cravings with a Low-Glycemic Diet
5 of 9 in Series: The Essentials of Starting a Low-Glycemic Diet
Food cravings occur for many reasons, both physiological and psychological, but one core cause of food cravings is erratic blood glucose levels. When your body’s blood glucose levels go through high spikes throughout the day, you can wind up feeling hungry — hence the unwanted yet nagging food craving.
Imagine facing a busy day at work and getting the kids off to various appointments. You don't have time for more than a couple handfuls of pretzels as you race from work to pick up your kids. Even if this was an adequate snack calorie-wise, you'd likely feel starving in an hour or so.
Why? Because pretzels are a high-glycemic snack that sends your blood glucose levels spiking only to drop off quickly shortly afterward.
Often food cravings go hand in hand with low blood glucose levels. Rather than wanting a healthy snack, you may be craving something sweet or starchy as your body tries to compensate for its low blood glucose. This cycle occurs daily for many people, and it’s not just limited to snack time. Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that are overloaded with high-glycemic foods can also send your blood glucose levels sky-high.
To keep your food cravings under control, follow these two simple steps:
Choose low-glycemic foods for your meals and snacks.
Match these foods with protein and fat sources.
In the earlier pretzel example, a better snack choice would've been an apple with an ounce of nuts. The apple is a lower-glycemic choice that creates a slower blood glucose response in the body. Balancing protein and fat with the nuts helps you feel fuller for longer so you don’t need to raid the refrigerator for high-sugar snack foods when you get home.