Without a doubt, anyone who is following a strict weight loss diet is going to have a craving every once in a while. Any time you go cutting foods out of your diet plan it is only natural that you’re going to long for the foods you once enjoyed.
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Hopefully you’ve been taking the time to come up with some tasty healthier recipes however as that in itself can go a long way towards satisfying those cravings. But, that said, it sometimes isn’t enough so that’s when you really have to start thinking hard about what you can do to beat the cravings while sticking with your diet.
In this situation your top solution is to find smart substitutions that will somewhat resemble the food you’re craving but will provide fewer calories and fat. In many cases this will be enough to turn that craving off for a while so you can get back to focusing on your diet.
Let’s take a look at a few simple craving solutions that you can turn to in times of need.
Craving: Ice Cream
By far, one of the biggest foods that many dieters will crave while on their plan is ice cream. And who can really blame them? That sweet, creamy taste is something that most people do really enjoy and when the weather gets hot, ice cream is the top food on your want list.
When you’re on a diet though, ice cream can definitely wreak havoc on the plan as it’s not only high in sugar, but also high in saturated fat as well.
Instead, try a low-sugar fruit flavoured yogurt. Top it with some fresh berries and maybe even a spoonful of slivered almonds and you’ll have something that still gives off the creamy, sweet taste, but at only a fraction of the calories.
It may not be 100% the same, but usually it’ll come close enough.
Second, the next food that often is the craving that dieters will experience is pizza. Loved by many, this easy to turn to food can easily pack in 300 calories per slice. And, most people will not just be eating a single slice in a sitting.
As you can imagine this will quickly throw off your diet plan so coming up with a smart substitution is a must.
One great way to battle this craving is to take a sliced whole grain English muffin, smear some tomato sauce on it, add a few slices of low-fat cheese on top along with oregano and whatever vegetables you desire and then place it under the broiler for about a minute.
This will let the cheese melt and the muffin turn crispy and give you a nice light snack that should contain no more than a couple hundred calories. What’s more is that you’ll get some healthy carbs, a good dose of protein from the cheese, and as long as you are choosing a lower fat variety, not a lot of fat content.
Is pasta what you’re craving? If so, this is the best solution for you. If you bake up a spaghetti squash and then separate the rinds after cooking, you’re going to find that this actually very closely resembles the same texture of the pasta you’re craving. Yet, it contains only a fraction of the calories.
Top this with some low-sodium tomato sauce and some lightly grilled vegetables and you have a ‘pasta’ dish that will definitely kill those cravings quickly.
Chocolate is another food that calls out to many dieters and while one tiny piece each day shouldn’t really hurt you all that bad, the problem is most can’t stop with just a single tiny piece. Instead, the entire bar is consumed and before they know it they’ve eaten 250+ calories.
To kill this craving quickly, try using chocolate protein powder. This can be simply shaken with water for a quick drink or could be mixed into some vanilla yogurt or cottage cheese for a ‘pudding’ type of dish that will give you that creamy taste you’re after.
So as you go about your weight loss diet, when the cravings are straight, find ways to fight back. There will be times when nothing is really going to stop the craving apart from the actual food itself and in those times, giving in may just be the best option.
Otherwise, you could wind up eating hundreds of calories trying to find foods to replace the craving only to find it’s still there with a vengeance.
A cheat meal once in a while definitely is not going to stop your weight loss progress so as long as you can try and ward off most cravings with these tips and give into the odd one when you need to, you should have no problem realizing weight loss success.