Now that summer is over, it’s likely that we’ve shifted our diets a bit. These days, we’re less likely to be reaching for bright, juicy summer produce and more likely to be aching for hearty, warming foods like pasta and pizza. It may not be full-on winter yet, but we can definitely confirm it’s carb season.
Whether you’re into sweet or salty, we can bet that when cravings hit, they’re usually for carbs. It could be crusty French bread and butter. It could be chocolate chip cookies. Really, it could be anything, but the most commonly craved foods are usually carbs.
But why is that? What are these carb cravings telling you? And can you navigate these cravings deftly, coming out satisfied but also maintaining your health goals?
One of the most common reasons we crave carbs is that you are not actually consuming enough food in general. This triggers your body to crave easily accessible calories, which often take the form of simple carbohydrates. Another reason could be that you aren’t eating balanced meals, even if you are eating enough. If you don’t have ample protein, fibre and healthy fats in your meals, your blood sugar can’t stabilise. This will also lead to intense carb cravings.
Additionally, it’s also possible that you have something going on internally or medically that could be causing your brain to flip on the carb cravings like Batman’s bat signal. Your blood sugar levels and mineral status in your body can both affect these cravings within the body.
So, what can you do about it? Well, ensuring you’re eating a balanced diet that’s rich in fruit and vegetables, healthy fats and proteins is a good start. Filling up on nutrient-dense and balanced food like our Middle Eastern Tabbouleh Salad or The Super Bowl with extra flax and hemp seeds is a good start. It’s also helpful to check in with your doctor to make sure that you don’t have any underlying health issues that could be impacting your nutritional needs. They’ll be able to give you a clear and accurate picture of what’s going on internally.
And if that’s all well and good but you’re still feeling like Carbie? Well, you can satisfy those cravings in a more healthful way than reaching for the empty calories of pre-packaged crackers, cookies and crisps. If it’s a flavourful and crunchy snack you’re after, reach for smoked almonds. They’re flavour-packed and perfect for nibbling. Dreaming of gooey but stodgy macaroni and cheese? Try our Vegetable Lasagne. Beans and lentils are also great for these sorts of cravings because they also provide a lot of fibre and protein and digest more slowly.
When the sweets cravings hit, we like to grab a delicious cup of The Almond Butter & Chaga Overnight Oats or a few handfuls of our Apple Cinnamon Rawnola. Both totally hit the spot while still giving us the proper nutrients we need, so snacking and indulging are both satisfying and healthy! Sounds like a win-win, don’t you think?
And while all of these are certainly fantastic options that should hit the spot, we do know that occasionally, nothing else will do than what your brain is demanding. And in these instances, your craving is likely more mental than physiological. So if you think your craving may be coming from an emotional place, take a moment to think about whether you’re really hungry for what you want or if you’re stressed or sad or simply overwhelmed. Addressing these feelings or engaging in some self-care may help ease the craving or take your mind off it.
But either way, know that craving carbs is totally normal! And you can definitely indulge whilst sticking to your healthy regime. Looks like we may just like being Carbie after all!