How can I control my occasional food cravings?
Often, we misjudge our body’s signal for thirst as an indication of hunger, so before satisfying your craving with a snack, drink a glass of water, it helps alleviate craving. Having a good wholesome breakfast, eating regular meals and healthy snacks (mixed nuts, vegetable sticks with hummus) at frequent time intervals, adding good source of protein and low GI foods in your meals are ways to control occasional food cravings. We can still satisfy our cravings in a healthful way. For example, if you crave for sweet/sugary food, have a piece of fruit or yogurt and stay away from cookies, muffins, etc. The more you snack on sweet/salty food, the more your body craves for them, so cutting out junk from your diet will help.
Diet and exercise are two factors which keeps our bodyweight in check. What’s the most effective diet that can help?
There are hundreds of diets but the trickiest part is to find the effective and right one that suits you and your body. If a diet works for one, it doesn’t necessarily work for others too. The best thing is to have a balanced diet that you can sustain for the long-term. For healthy balanced diet, include all essential nutrients (available in fresh fruits and vegetables), whole grains, good source of protein and cut out all processed and junk food as well as refined sugar. All different diets may give you results for certain period of time but then if you get sidetracked, you will go back to square one. And also remember that maintaining bodyweight is 70% of diet and 30% exercise.
One way to eat is to have little food at frequent time intervals; can we have dried fruits while on diet?
Dried fruits are healthy alternative snacks with good source of fibres and vitamins. The only thing to watch out for is portion size as it has more concentrated sugar (natural) which equates to more calories than real fruit. It does help with your sugar cravings while on diet but keep in mind that it won’t fill us up as much as real fruit does. Dried fruit contains many great nutrients and there are ways to incorporate it in your diet mixing it up with nuts and seeds and making a trail mix, sprinkling a few on top of your breakfast cereal and also on your salad.
Do you think dairy products are a must for all? Do we need to stay away from milk products if we are to lose weight?
A common misconception is that many overlook dairy products because they think it’s fattening. However, with its high nutrient content, it increases your bone-building calcium and may actually assist with weight loss. A prime example is yogurt which is not only good for one’s immune and digestive systems but also for weight loss because it is low in calories but high in water and protein, making it a perfect satisfying snack . Try using naturally low fat cheeses alternatively, like cottage cheese which is high in protein and low in calories, or cheeses with intense flavours like Parmesan. Foods like milk, yogurt, and certain types of cheeses can keep your hunger cramps at bay while increasing your daily intake of calcium and other essential nutrients.