Lent: No Sweets, No Problem

\Did you give up your favorite food for Lent? Are you struggling to say no to your favorite chocolate bar, a bag of potato chips, or a bowl of pasta? Take a look at what your cravings mean and how you can kick them for a successful Lenten season!

Are You Craving…
Carb-Rich Foods?
If you’re craving heavy carbs like bread or pasta, your energy levels may have decreased. While these foods increase your blood sugar and energy, you won’t feel full, and you’ll continue to eat. Prevent this by opting for whole grains! Cook with noodle alternatives such as spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles (“zoodles”), or shirataki noodles.

Sugary Sweets?
Did you know that the American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 tsps (25 g) of sugar for women and 9 tsps (38 g) of sugar for men daily? However, the average person eats 17.4 tsps (roughly 71 g) daily. That adds up to 57 pounds of extra sugar each year, per person. So it makes sense that your body is going to notice when you take away sugar during Lent! This is a great time to get used to reaching for fruit instead. Grab a handful of berries, enjoy a frozen banana, or make homemade fruit and yogurt popsicles.

Salty Snacks?
Instead of giving up and tearing into a bag of chips, eat more naturally salty foods like cheese or olives. You can also enjoy a bowl of edamame with a small amount of salt! There’s a chance you may be dehydrated, so make sure to drink enough water.

Soda?
Although fizzy soda water isn’t the same thing as a Coke, you can still enjoy a carbonated beverage! Find a flavor you that enjoy without added sugar, and add frozen fruit or a lemon slice to make it feel special.

Deep-Fried Foods?
Your body is desperate for healthy fats! Avoid fried foods and butter; try nuts, avocado, cheese, eggs, fish, chia seeds, or full-fat yogurt. Pay attention to the serving size!

Chocolate?
When you’re magnesium deficient, you could feel irritated and stressed, leading you to crave chocolate — when what your body really needs is magnesium! Choose nuts, seeds, beans, and dark leafy greens. (If your desire is combined with the need for something sweet, blend together your greens and seeds with a cup of fruit for a nutrition-packed smoothie.)

Not Sure…But You’re Hungry?
Are you aimlessly wandering around your kitchen, knowing you’re craving something but not exactly sure what? There’s a good chance your body needs water. Before you dive into the pantry, drink a glass of water and wait 15 minutes to see if you’re still hungry.

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