True Hunger vs. Cravings
Keeping your blood sugar levels consistent is a significant part of caring for your diabetes in general. The more control you have over your blood sugar, the less likely you are to crave carbs and sugary foods. Large swings in blood sugar levels can lead to cravings and even trick you into thinking you’re hungry when you’re not. To avoid this, do your best to maintain a healthy high protein, low carb diet. When you feel hungry, test your blood sugar before eating. This can help you determine whether your truly hungry or just craving carbs. When your sugar is high, try drinking water or taking a quick walk. Genuine feelings of hunger grow stronger over time; whereas, a craving can be sudden and will usually fade away with time and distraction. Also, while cravings tend to be for specific foods, a truly hungry person will desire a wider variety of healthy foods.
Eat Regular Balanced Meals & Snacks
Avoid skipping meals and eat on a regular schedule. Eating smaller portions throughout the day and ensuring that each meal and snack contains a balance of protein, fat, fiber, and carbohydrates can help limit cravings. Doing this will allow you to feel fuller longer.
Know Your Triggers
If you know your blood sugar is within a healthy range, the cravings you experience may be caused by psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, or other emotions. To combat these types of desires, you will need to identify your triggers. Keeping track of when you experience cravings, your blood sugar levels, and your emotions can help you determine your triggers. Once you are aware of the triggers, you can work to address the issue underlying them. If you experience cravings after having to make tough phone calls, next time you get off of a tough call, take a walk, read, find some way to distract yourself before the craving can take hold.
Get Enough Sleep
It might not seem like it has any connection to cravings, but lack of sleep can also be a factor. A lack of sleep can affect your brain function and cause you to crave high-calorie foods. “People who are sleep-deprived tend to have more food cravings than those who are well-rested,” explains dietary behavior expert Brie Turner-McGrievy, Ph.D., RD.
Avoid Trigger Foods
One of the easiest ways to avoid high carbohydrates is to leave them at the grocery store altogether. If they aren’t in your home or workplace, you won’t have as many opportunities to succumb to your cravings. This is particularly true if you have a sweet tooth.
Indulge within Reason
Last but not least, self-awareness can go a long way in helping you to curb your cravings for high carb foods. If you are the type of person who can handle eating a reasonable portion without going overboard, it’s okay to indulge once in a while or for special occasions. Some people have more difficulty limiting themselves to a reasonable portion than avoiding the food altogether. In those cases, it can be better not to indulge rather than tempt yourself.