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Sometimes, you are just doing your work with a whole lot of concentration and suddenly as soon as the clock strikes 3 p.m. you get the munchies. The sudden, strong desires for food are called cravings and they strike you when you least expect it!
The reason for this might be a neurotransmitter named as serotonin, which regulates your emotions, mood, sleep and, obviously, your appetite. Serotonin becomes slightly inactive by midday, which makes you crave salty and sweet snacks.
Here are some ways to curb your cravings:
- Don't skip breakfast, or lunch. Choose foods that take a long time to digest, so you can stay full for a longer duration. Whole grain bread and vegetables are good options.
- Don't go grocery shopping during this hour because you will end up buying junk food.
- Don't watch television as junk food advertisements will lead to cravings, as the images shown to promote these products, induces the desire, which eventually will lead to obesity.
- If you can feel your cravings still, choose to do something else, such as go for a walk or get yourself really busy with something till the urge subsides.
But if all else fails, then you have no option, but to give in and it is okay to give in sometimes. However, you should do it right and not reach for the nearest package of processed food! Instead, substitute the candy bar, or potato chips with the following options:
- Vegetable soup
- One slice of wholegrain bread with unsweetened jam/peanut butter
- Dried or fresh fruits
- Sweetened/unsweetened high fibre cereal with low fat milk
- Low-fat granola bars
- Smoothies made from fresh fruit and skim milk
- Low-fat yoghurt with fresh fruits
- Unsalted, unbuttered popcorn
- Hot chocolate with skimmed milk made from low-fat cocoa powder
Basically, your body craves for carbs during the afternoon. And the trick is to choose complex carbs (carbohydrates that digest slowly) over simple carbs (carbohydrates that are easier to digest). From the list above, you can see that mostly complex carbs have been mentioned. In fact, eating complex carbs will trigger your serotonin levels which will provide you energy, return your focus and make you happier! So it is okay to snack, just don't open that packet of chips and remember to eat the right things. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
Proteins are extremely important for your health. Protein is present in every cell of your body, it generally makes up your hair and nails along with keratin. Your body needs various supplements to stay healthy, such as fats and carbohydrates. These are called macronutrients (you need to consume it in huge amounts to stay hale and hearty).
Where can you find protein?
- It is present in milk, fish, eggs and meat.
- If you happen to be a vegan you can consume soy, beans, legumes and nut butter.
- Protein bars, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, anchovies, peanut butter, tofu, wheat germ, quinoa and edamame also contain a high amount of protein.
Why should you consume protein?
- It can reduce the risk of diabetes by producing natural insulin and progesterone protein.
- The substance called hemoglobin carries oxygen to your blood cells. So without hemoglobin oxygen would not be supplied to your muscles.
- If you have a heat shock, proteins can help reduce the stress and rebuild your cells.
- If you have lack of protein in your diet, it will be difficult for you to move and can also result in paralysis.
- Since protein is present in your hair and nails, it also helps to make your skin taut and look younger since structural protein includes collagen. There are a lot of products available in the market like collagen creams; since collagen contains protein it is not possible that creams containing proteins applied on the skin can make your skin better. It is highly necessary to consume protein such that your blood flow contains proteins. This will make your skin seem youthful.
- After a surgery, it is important that you stack up on protein, because protein helps to close your wounds and make them heal faster.
- Protein shakes are also very useful when you want to attain a healthier physique after hitting the gym. During a workout, your body goes through a lot of micro-tears (wear and tear caused in your muscle due to contraction of your muscle).
So taking protein shakes after a heavy workout helps your muscle tissues to be healed completely.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!