Ways to Combat Cravings

25 Jun 2013

Cravings are unfortunately inevitable when dieting and they are caused by a number of different factors. Here we explain what each of these factors are and explore how you can combat them so you are better able to cope with the nutritional aspect of lowering your body fat.

The Right Choice of Protein

Protein out of any other macronutrient has been shown to help keep you satiated and full for longer, but more specifically it's the protein casein that's been found to suppress appetite the most. Many experts believe this is because of the slow digesting nature of casein, which forms a gel like substance in the stomach and also exerts a slight pressure on the wall of the stomach that then produces the feeling of being full.

But also it's believed nutritionists can also pinpoint casein's benefits when looking at it's unique amino acid content since it contains certain amino acids that have been show to help create feelings of being full. For instance per 100g of casein contains 5.2 grams of the non-essential amino acid tyrosine (whey protein contains 2.6g) that has been shown to help certain neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. These neurotransmitters (that help to send chemical signals to the brain) have been linked to motivation and focus and can therefore, in theory at least, reduce a persons desire to eat by helping them remain motivated during their diet.

Also per 100g it contains 5.1 grams of the essential amino acid Phenylalanine (whey protein contains 3 grams), and it's this amino acid that's been shown to help regulate the brain's ability to know when it's full. Therefore it seems casein not only proves well in subjective studies but scientific theory could also support its place in someone's diet looking to lose weight.

Healthy Fats Help Your Body Lose Fat

Healthy fats have long been praised for their many health benefits, but recent studies show that the healthy fats found in nuts could help control levels of blood sugar and therefore help to control cravings when dieting. Specifically regarding the healthy fats found in almonds, in a study conducted by Dr. Michelle Wien, Assistant Research Professor in Nutrition at Loma Linda University's School of Public Health it stated 'the group who were on an almond-enriched diet, showed greater improvements in insulin sensitivity and clinically significant reductions in LDL-cholesterol as compared to the nut-free group.' (2010) This research is also supported by researchers P. Casas-Agustench et al (2009) who said 'in the case of nuts, studies have shown that intake has a satiating effect,' therefore helping you with your diet right from day one.'

Supplement Support

One of the best supplements proven to regulate blood sugar levels and therefore reduce cravings is chromium. Chromium is a trace mineral that is basically needed by the body for growth and development but more importantly for those dieting research shows that chromium can improve blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity, and lipid profiles and therefore create an environment within the body that is better able to cope with cravings and reduce body fat. It does this by modulating your cells' internal communication centers to efficiently lower blood glucose.

Put more simply if you imagine every cell in your body has a type of internal communications system that must be working properly for it to then maintain optimal blood glucose absorption and metabolism. If it's not working properly then your blood sugar levels can go unregulated which in turn means you'll experience an energy crash and sugar cravings. Experts have now discovered that chromium is vital to a cells health and internal communication centre and that including this in your diet ensures you regulate blood sugar levels and cravings.