How Low-Glycemic Foods Can Stop Cravings - dummies

How Low-Glycemic Foods Can Stop Cravings

By Meri Reffetto

Low-glycemic foods stimulate a slow increase in blood sugar; high-glycemic foods (as in the ones people tend to crave), on the other hand, trigger a fast spike in blood sugar. Excess intake of high-glycemic carbohydrates sets you up for a vicious cycle in which your blood sugar and, consequently, your insulin levels spike, leading to a blood sugar crash soon after a meal.

Your body wants to get your blood sugar back up to optimal levels, so it may trigger you to feel hungry again even though you just ate recently. Eating low-glycemic foods throughout the day helps keep your blood sugar and insulin levels stable from morning to night.

If your food cravings are due to unstable blood sugar, a low-glycemic diet can help reduce them drastically. If you have other physiological or psychological reasons for food cravings, following a low-glycemic diet can still help because it stabilizes your blood sugar, thereby reducing the intensity and/or frequency of your food cravings. You probably will have cravings again, but you can certainly can curb them by following a low-glycemic diet.

Eating a low-glycemic diet is only half the battle when it comes to decreasing your food cravings. The other half involves eating your meals and snacks in a timely manner so you don’t wind up with low blood sugar.

Anytime your blood sugar gets too low, you end up hungry, and that hunger can trigger your urge to eat foods that may not be the healthiest choices. For instance, have you ever waited too long to eat and then went straight for the potato chips because they sounded good?

Or perhaps you had a hectic day at work and were so hungry that you decided to stop at the nearest drug store for a candy bar instead of driving home and eating the healthy snack of yogurt and nuts that was waiting for you. If you’ve ever experienced these types of scenarios, you’re not alone. Choosing a healthy snack is always much harder when you’re famished.

Eating in a timely manner and enjoying a healthy, low-glycemic snack when you’re feeling comfortably hungry rather than starving helps stave off food cravings.

Pay attention to your body’s hunger cues, eat when you feel hungry, and avoid getting to the point where you’re starving. (Trying to eat a meal or snack, preferably a low-glycemic one, every four to five hours is a good guideline.) Also, keep some healthy snacks in your car, purse, and/or office so you’re prepared when you start feeling hungry.