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As you progress with your medical weight loss plan, combating cravings might occasionally frustrate you. No one wants to give up their favorite foods completely, and that’s why we encourage our clients not to be absolute teetotalers with regard to most treats.
On the other hand, it’s hard to succeed at a medical weight loss plan if you indulge in favorite treats too frequently. Plus, cravings sometimes mean that our bodies need a particular nutrient, so ignoring them 100 percent of the time isn’t a good idea either. So when you’re craving a particular flavor, substituting something similar (but healthier) can do the trick without undermining your progress.
Salt. Salt cravings can be the result of dehydration, so try rehydrating before giving in to a craving. But because your body does need some salt to perform particular functions, there’s no need to give it up entirely. Steer clear of over-processed snacks and try some salty kale chips or dehydrated seaweed instead (we promise, it’s much better than it sounds). Miso paste and broth also contain salt, or you might simply add a bit more to your usual lean protein.
Note: If you need to restrict salt due to a health condition, follow your doctor’s advice.
Sweet. A desire for sweets is probably the most common of cravings. Remember that many veggies like pumpkins and beets contain satisfying sweetness, without breaking any nutritional rules. Fruits, grains, and dairy also contain a bit of dietary sugar that can satisfy while providing other important nutrients.
Sour. Don’t reach for that bag of calorie-laden sour candies! Plenty of fruits are naturally sour, and fermented foods can be deeply satisfying (and healthy) as well.
Spicy. If you crave spicy foods, you’re in luck. It can be relatively simple to satisfy this type of craving without ever opening a bag of processed snack foods. Add peppers to your next stir-fry meal, and don’t forget the spices like curry, cumin, chili powder, garlic, and so on.
Try to plan your meals around potential cravings, so that you can address them before they even begin. And if you need more help adjusting your medical weight loss plan to suit your dietary preferences, please call us to schedule an appointment.