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Handling your Cravings on Atkins

You've decided to go on an Atkins or low carb diet. But sometimes you get cravings! Here are suggestions for dealing with those desires for things you know are unhealthy for you.

Chips and Pretzles
It is simply AMAZING how many bags of chips many people go through in a week. It's all junk food! If you feel a chip craving coming in, grab some nuts instead. The FDA Recommends Nuts Daily - and you can alternate between walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds and whatever else you enjoy.

Pizza is another staple of many people's diets that they really miss. If you think about it, it's probably the sauce and cheese that you miss, the whole "aroma". So give an Eggplant Pizza a try. You don't really taste the eggplant - it's just a "base" for everything else to sit on.

You may not believe it at first, but you really do pretty much lose your taste for bread after a short while. I used to eat tons of McDonalds hamburgers. After a few weeks on the Atkins diet, I ate a burger with the bun on it. The bun tasted like a brown sponge - pretty flavorless and squishy. If you loved the butter flavor on bread, or garlic bread flavors, find other dishes that are heavy on butter and/or garlic. If you really must have bread, there are many low-carb versions available from Atkins.

Pasta is one of those "basic foods" in recipes that you tend to add lots of other stuff to. The flavor you enjoy isn't really the pasta - it's the sauces and creams you are pouring over it. Pasta itself is sort of bland. So think of your favorite sauce, and put it over something else! There's no reason to shovel lots of carb in your mouth just so it can "carry sauce into you". You can easily use veggies or meats to hold the sauce.

Potato is another food that is a 'base layer' for your sour cream of butter or whatever. It's there to hold the gravy. It's more a 'textured taste holder' than anything else. So mash up some cauliflower! Cauliflower will end up with the same texture and bland taste as a potato. Just douse it with gravy, or pour on the sour cream and butter, and enjoy!

Sweet Treats
Part of what this diet does is help you not crave sweets as much. The modern day palate is so super-saturated in sugars that we pretty much expect it in everything we eat and drink. After a few weeks on the diet, you should find that you enjoy more and more "normal flavors" because you don't need to drown your foods in sweets any more to enjoy it. But there still might be times you really want a sweet treat.

Luckily there are tons of Splenda-sweetened snacks out there that have pretty much zero carbs. Two of my favorites are Jello and Homemade Ice Cream. They'll satisfy your sweet tooth but not affect your waist line!

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