Sweet Cravings and Weight Loss
Craving sweets after a meal is a common occurrence and can be very bothersome as well as a great hindrance to those who are trying to lose weight or keep off the weight they have already lost.
A normal healthy meal must consist of carbohydrate food, plus protein foods and vegetables. A little oil would be used for cooking.
The amount of carbohydrate in a normal meal would mainly come from the cereal part of the meal which would be wheat (rotis or bread) rice, (plain rice or rice as idli, dosa or rice roti) and corn, oats, ragi, jowar, bajra, etc. Some carbohydrate will come from the vegetables too. Along with this if you drink fruit juices, eat fruits or a dessert like cakes, cookies or sweets, the body registers a very high carbohydrate intake at one time.
This makes the pancreas release a higher amount of insulin than normal and this excess insulin will cause the excess carbohydrate to be stored as fat in the body instead of being metabolized and used up.
This leads to people putting on weight easily and a great resistance to weight loss. So this is important information for people who tend to eat large quantities of bread, rice, chapattis, etc., and those who believe that desserts or something sweet is a must after each meal. Even eating fruits along with the meal is best avoided during a weight loss programme. Ideally the fruit should be eaten on its own as a midmorning snack at 10 or 11am. A fruit may be eaten again at 6-7pm when you feel hungry before its time for dinner. Even after dinner if you must eat a fruit, it should be eaten only after 1-2 hours after the meal is over.
Finally the best way to control the sweet cravings after a meal are as follows.
- Never skip a meal
- All food items must be eaten in measured quantities.
- Every meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner, must have a proper balance of carbohydrate plus protein foods. If there is less protein in any of your meals, then your sugar cravings will be very high.
- Try to have a raw salad with both lunch and dinner the fiber in the salad helps to make you feel full and this fiber as well as protein in your diet takes a long time to get digested and this helps to reduce your sugar cravings.
(The salad must not have fruits added to it, no sugar or honey in the dressing and no boiled veggies like potatoes, boiled peas or corn. Beet root too must be avoided in the salad. It is best made with raw tomato, cucumber, carrots, radish, peppers, lettuce, cabbage, etc.) The dressing could be lime, vinegar, spices, green chilies, coriander, mint, salt and pepper. Non fat or low fat yogurt too may be used.
- Lastly be sure that nobody needs to eat sweet after a properly balanced meal. It is not a necessity for any human body. So just quit the habit. Don’t keep chocolates sweets and pastries, etc., in the house.
The question would be, “then what are all these sweets and goodies for?” They are for special occasions, celebrations and a once in a way treat. Unfortunately they have become almost like an addiction which people cannot give up!!!
One more question that is often asked is whether we need some sugar in the diet daily? It is advisable to consume two fresh fruits daily, which give you natural sugar along with plenty of vitamins, minerals and fiber. If necessary, two to three tea spoons of sugar may be added per day in milk, coffee or tea.