Those late-night moments where you just need some chocolate and can’t stop thinking about it until you have it are familiar to everyone. Cravings are very normal and can be common during pregnancy, especially weird ones! We see you, pickle and peanut butter lovers. Luckily though there are some easy ways to curb these feelings and avoid over-snacking on sugary, salty or processed foods.
If you’re trying to keep on track with a healthy lifestyle, here are some ways you can take charge of your eating habits:
Balanced blood sugar levels
Stabilising your blood sugar throughout the day is a deal-breaker when it comes to reducing cravings. Make sure you eat something at least every 3 hours and these meals should all contain good quality protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.
Create some new habits
Limit your intake of foods that are high in sugar and fat.
Fibre is your friend
Eating lots of healthy fibre will not only support healthy digestion during pregnancy but also help you feel full and satisfied between meals which will reduce the chances of you reaching for an unhealthy snack.
Avoid skipping meals
Do not skip any meals in the hopes that the craving will go away. This will only reduce energy levels, increase fatigue and create more cravings. (And be sure to expect mood swings as well!)
Water, water, water!
Drink plenty of water throughout the day; aim for at least 2 litres.
Planning is key
Make sure that your kitchen is fully stocked with healthy snacks to prevent reaching for the less healthy options. Doing meal plans and making batches of healthy snacks ahead of a busy week are great ways to make sure you will stay on track.
Adding a supplement to your daily routine may help with certain cravings. A good Magnesium supplement can support healthy blood sugar levels and reduce sugar cravings as well as an Omega-3 essential fatty acid supplement. You should always speak with your midwife or doctor before taking any supplements.
Cut caffeine out
Avoid drinking too much coffee. This may wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels and create more sugar cravings.
Always listen to your body
Pay attention to your body and your hunger cues. Are you really hungry or just craving something? It might be hard to tell sometimes, so try having a small snack of fruits or veggies. If the hunger doesn’t go away then have a smaller healthy meal.
Sometimes cravings are impossible to curb, so don’t beat yourself up over it. A few bites of cake or a bedtime biscuit will not ruin your healthy lifestyle. If you’re looking to improve your reaction to cravings, these are some good practices, but in the end, it’s all about balance!