When it comes to dieting, there always seems to be the looming question of how to prevent cravings. The truth is, you can’t completely prevent cravings. They’re our bodies natural “push notifications” to let us know that we are deficient in one nutrient or another. The problem with cravings stems from curbing them with unhealthy food from an early age. The most intense cravings usually come when you first decided to go Paleo since your body is not used to running on Paleo fuel. Once you understand what your body is craving, it becomes much easier to eat a Paleo-friendly alternative.
A magnesium deficiency is the most common reason we crave chocolate. Since chocolate is not on the list of paleo diet treats, we find ourselves looking for other ways to combat that craving. One sweet treat that can boost magnesium levels and leave you satisfied is a frozen banana dipped in raw organic peanut butter. Bananas are loaded with magnesium, and provide other vital nutrients to help you recover from a workout and stay hydrated.
The biggest issue I had when going paleo was giving up bread. It is a staple in nearly every household in America, and it is difficult to cut something like that out of what you consume each day. When craving those highly processed carbs, look to something else that is high in nitrogen, which is what you’re lacking during those bread cravings. Foods high in protein, especially fish, also tend to be nitrogen-rich foods. Broil a piece of Alaskan salmon with a side of green beans to make your brain forget what bread ever tasted like. Your body will thank you later.
One of the staples of the Paleo diet is swearing off all forms of dairy. When your mind is craving dairy, the odds are your body is telling you to eat because you are calorie deficient. There are two schools of thought on when to eat. You can either eat when you’re hungry, or you can eat throughout the day so that you do not get hungry. If you believe the latter, you may find yourself between meals craving a cold glass of milk. Raw nuts are one of the easiest ways to get calories into your body quickly and in the most guilt-free way possible. A handful of cashews should do the trick to keep you on the straight and narrow.
Starting a new diet can be scary for many people, and they’ll often look to give in to any craving that comes their way. Think of going Paleo as a lifestyle change instead of a diet, and you’ll start understanding how to better plan for these cravings by stocking your cupboards with the right substitutes for the job.