I haven’t had any cravings in a very long time (probably two years!), but I remember how horrible they were. Especially in the beginning when I was breaking the sugar habit and was getting hungry every couple of hours. It’s no secret: cravings stink.
How did I get past them? There are a few strategies my wife and I employed to get us through.
Nuts. These are really great to sate a little craving and are a healthy alternative to just about anything else. NEVER go with candy, chocolate, or even fruit. I know many dietitians and experts will say a fruit is a good snack, but I disagree. You’re trying to break a sugar habit. Why feed it some sugar? Even natural sugars are sugar and will continue the cycle of cravings.
Coffee or tea. I know Whole30 wants you to quite everything with caffeine, but I can’t just drink regular water. I need something in my water to flavor it. Now, I never use any sweetener at all. Using any sweeteners or eating snacks with artificial sweeteners acts on the brain the same way sugar does in regards to cravings. It’s best to keep anything sweet or artificially sweet out of your snacks. There are some very tasty teas and coffees that can be had without sweetener.
Activity. Do something. If you experience a craving, you might just be bored. Find something to occupy your mind. Read an article. Clean some dishes. Take out the trash. Take a walk around the block. Do anything that uses your mind. The next thing you know, the craving is gone.
Think about what you ate last, and how long ago you ate. What you are experiencing may not be a craving, but may be actual hunger telling you it’s time to eat again. Maybe you ate too little at the previous meal. I’m guilty of doing that sometimes; eating too little, especially when I was in weight-loss mode. Now that I’m in maintenance, my meal sizes have crept up a bit, and I now find myself reducing the size of my portions more times than not. It’s a constant adjustment to find the right amount for each type of food versus your activity level.
Cravings don’t last forever. Once you’re free of sugar, the cravings subside and go away completely and then when you feel hungry, it’ll be because it’s actually time to eat your next meal, not feeding the sugar dragon.