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Do you have an irresistible desire to binge on pasta and potato chips when you are absolutely famished? Read on to find out what this symptom translates to and how to find healthy alternatives to curb these unhealthy hankerings.

Are you one of those dieters who binge on pasta and potato chips on empty stomach? Do you have the irresistible desire to head straight towards the calorie-rich carbohydrates and starches after you have skipped a meal? The food choices that we make on a hungry stomach and the order in which we eat our food tells a lot about our digestive pattern and how easy it is for us to put on weight.
 

The brain is too sensitive to low blood sugar and immediately sends out signals which result in craving for carbs. This is a vicious cycle and is difficult to break. However, if a person eats complex carbs which release glucose slowly because of prolonged metabolism, there is no surge in levels of insulin, no hypoglycemia and no signals from brain to binge on carbs. Similarly, consuming diets rich in proteins, fats and fibers delays the entry of carbs into the blood stream and prevent carb cravings. Therefore, it is important to eat a balanced diet.

Apart from eating a balanced diet, there are some other methods to curb carb cravings.

  • Drinking water fills up your stomach and makes you believe that you ate something. Moreover, carb cravings may be a signal of thirst at times.
  • Nutritional deficiencies can result in carb cravings. So in case your diet is not balanced, consider taking nutritional supplements.
  • Try to distract your mind from cravings. Go for a walk, or watch your favorite program on television. Distraction can make the cravings go away.
  • Eat meals at regular intervals so that your blood sugar levels remain stable.
  • Chewing gum has been shown to reduce carb cravings.
  • Instead of simple sugars, opt for complex sugars like whole grains and starchy vegetables. They take a longer time to be converted into glucose and result in fewer insulin surges.
  • If the urge to eat pasta is unbearable, opt for whole wheat pasta.
  • Substitute a croissant with an oatcake. It is helpful in calming the carb cravings and is loaded with the goodness of fibers too.
  • Instead of sugary drinks, reach for 100% fruit juices. They will satisfy your sweet cravings and would provide you vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • If you are craving for cheeseburgers, go for falafel sandwich. Fill them up with vegetables like cucumber and tomato, and see how you forget your carb cravings.
  • Replace your sugary cereals with whole grain bran cereals. Apart from being rich in complex carbohydrates, they also contain a lot of fiber. Team them up with low fat milk and fresh fruits and you won’t suffer from another craving in an hour or two.
  • When you feel an urge to eat a bag of chips, reach out for low fat popcorns instead.

Opting for these healthier alternatives will not only reduce your carb cravings over time, they will provide you wholesome nutrition as well.

  • “Craving Carbs on an Empty Stomach”, by Anahad O’ Connor, published in the June 26, 2012 issue of the New York Times, accessed on July 17, 2012
  • “First Foods Most: After 18-Hour Fast, People Drawn to Starches First and Vegetables Last”, by Brian Wansink, Aner Tal, et al, published in the June 25, 2012 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, accessed on July 17, 2012.
  • “Craving carbs? Here’s how to stop!” by Dr. Joey Shulman, published in Truestar Health, accessed on July 17, 2012.
  • Photo courtesy of slice on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/slice/414786983
  • Photo courtesy of 59445098@N00 on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/59445098@N00/405299232