Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Simple Tips to Deal with Food Cravings

When you are trying to lose weight or maintain your weight loss, old habits can die hard and cravings can sometimes get the best of us.

Here are some tips that can help get you over the hump:

* Take a multivitamin/mineral daily. The number one cause of food cravings is vitamin and mineral deficiency. You simply cannot eat enough fresh, whole food to get your daily requirements.

* Drink plenty of water. We often confuse hunger for thirst. Try drinking 8-16 oz. of water the next time you have a craving and see if that doesn't do the trick! Active people need 64 to 96 oz. of water daily. For every 25 lbs. overweight you are you need an additional 8 oz.

* Eat plenty of protein. Seventy-five percent of the US population fall into the carbohydrate sensitive category. Which basically means you need to eat more protein than carbs in order to lose weight. Active people need 80 to 100 grams of protein per day.

* Eat more complex carbohydrates (i.e. whole grains, high fiber foods and fruits/vegetables). Complex carbs take longer to digest and fiber helps control blood sugar which, in turn, helps with cravings.

* Eat approximately 30% fat per day in your diet. Fat helps with satiety (as does protein fiber). If your diet is too low in fat you could be hungrier more often which might lead to a binge.

* Eat something every 3 to 4 hours. No exceptions! If you go long stretches throughout the day without eating you will be ravenous and less capable of making smart food choices.

* Don't keep unhealthy food that you can't resist in your house. If it's not around then you will be less likely to indulge.

* Wait. Yes, wait. Sounds boring I know. But, if you will wait about 20 minutes your craving should go away on it's on.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Food Review: Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers

Today for lunch I tried something new, a Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers microwaveable meal. The flavor I tried was Szechwan Beef with Asian Style Noodles.

I was quite surprised how good it was. And it's pretty darn healthy.

The food comes in a microwaveable plasic container. The lid is perforated with small holes and you remove a platic covering from the top of the lid before you prepare the food inside. The holes are to drain the water from the rice or noodles (depending on which flavor you choose) after cooking them in the microwave.

Then you microwave the meat, vegetables, sauce combination which is then combined with the noodles or rice and you have a meal. It only takes about 4 minutes to prepare from start to finish.

Nutritionally the Fresh Mixers are a good choice in the vast array of fast or frozen food choices. The Szechwan Beef flavor I tried has only 370 calories, 6g fat, 4g fiber and 14 g protein in a generous sized portion. Did I mention it tasted good?

I'm sure all the other flavors have similar nutritional values.

My only complaint is that it does not contain enough protein to carbohydrates ratio
(65g carbs to 14g fiber) and I was hungry within an hour. I suggest having a salad or vegetables as a side dish to this to round out your lunch (or dinner).

Try one and let me know what you think!