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Cravings are inevitable. Even if the day starts out with a protein-packed breakfast followed by a healthy lunch, the afternoon always seems to bring an energy slump. When coffee doesn’t have an effect anymore, it’s common for us to turn to what our bodies are really looking for — carbohydrates. This is to be expected, because carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for the body.
Although carbohydrates are necessary for keeping yourself energized, you probably often reach for the bad carbohydrates that give you an instant high, as opposed to a steady flow of energy. That quick rush of energy comes from the things we hate to love: chips, white bread, pastries, cookies, and other refined foods. Unfortunately, that energy soon wears off, leaving you right back where you started — feeling lethargic and wanting more.
Ditch Simple Carbohydrates, Fill Up on Complex Carbohydrates
If your body needs carbohydrates, it’s important to go for the ones that will help you, not hurt you. Fill up on complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, green vegetables, lentils, and beans. Eliminate simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, honey, and fruit drinks, all of which will set you up for disaster.
Establish Healthy Habits
Cravings can be controlled and reduced by fueling your body with what it really needs. The more you eat simple carbohydrates, the more you will crave them. It is important to create healthy habits — such as snacking on healthy foods throughout the day — so that you will eventually only crave those items when you’re hungry.
Add Carbohydrates to Your Meals
If your carbohydrate intake is low, you may need to rethink your diet. The reason the cravings become noticeable later in the day is because your body, in need of a re-boost, is searching for fuel. Ensure that that doesn’t happen by adding complex carbohydrates to your breakfast and lunch.
Re-evaluate Your Lifestyle
If these cravings continue, you may want to reassess your lifestyle. Are you getting enough sleep? Do you exercise? Are there emotional reasons for these cravings? Be sure to take a step back and reevaluate your daily habits. It’s important for your body and your mind to not stress about these cravings, but instead be prepared for when they hit.