The Healthy Way to Indulge Cravings During Pregnancy
Cravings are something all women love to hate, but a hankering for a certain type of food can reach a whole new level during pregnancy. FitBump nutrition expert Stephanie Middleberg has already explained where cravings during pregnancy come from and how to combat cravings before they hit, but what if there is just no stopping that desire for a very large chocolate bar or a bag of potato chips? Instead of giving in completely, try taking these 5 steps before succumbing to your cravings. You may be surprised at how effective they are at curbing a sugar binge!
When the craving hits...
Hydrate! Aim for 2 liters a day. Drink about 16 ounces of water and take a minute to see how you feel. Our brains sometimes can’t distinguish the difference between hunger and thirst, so you can get smacked with a craving even though you’re just thirsty.
Find fruit. This is key. It’s better to over-consume apples than go on an office-wide cookie hunt. In fact, it pays to occasionally reassess your snacks. You can even reset your palate by make fruit and almonds (24 per serving!) your only snack for a few days.
Squeeze a lemon. Try taste bud satisfiers that won’t set you back in calories, such as spices, ginger, and lemon (combine all three to make a quick tea). Lemon is famous for cleaning out the body and some theorize that it creates alkalinity in the body—a holistic way to aid digestion and release toxins.
Pick up potassium. Anything high in potassium will help pump sodium out of your body. That craving could be signaling it's time for a banana, half an avocado in your salad, or a glass of coconut water.
No matter how many healthy habits you have, sometimes we all need something indulgent. So if that hankering for something sweet or salty just isn’t going away, here are some healthy substitutions that are still great tasting enough to feel like a treat.
Salivating over a Reese’s peanut butter cup? Try a square of dark chocolate with a spoonful of all-natural nut butter, such as Justin’s, instead. It’s richer, creamier, and a lot more natural.
Smacking your lips at the thought of greasy, salty potato chips? Reach for snack chips from Food Should Taste Good. They have pre-portioned servings with spectacular flavors like barbecue sweet potato and kimchi tortilla. You can also stock up on roasted chickpeas from Pulse or The Good Bean.
When you’re craving a cold, bubbly diet soda, upgrade your beverage with Q Ginger Ale. It has just 60 calories per serving and is brewed with real ginger. I also recommend Hint Water for, well, a hint of flavor.
By FitBump’s Stephanie Middleberg
Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CDN, takes a pragmatic approach to eating healthy in a busy world. Her nutrition counseling business has quickly propelled her to a spot as one of the city’s most sought experts, and she consults with private clients, businesses, and the media. Stephanie has provided expert health and nutrition advice for Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Women's Day, MSNBC.com, FitnessMagazine.com, MSN, Crain's New York Business, Business Week, AOL Health, the New York Daily News, Life & Style, and The Big New York Sandwich Book.
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