Are You Experiencing Cravings on the HCG Diet Protocol?
On occasion, we all have cravings for foods that might not be the best choices for our health. I know on occasion, I may crave more almond butter than I know my body needs. Depending upon the person, cravings may be for sweets, carbs, savory, salty, rich foods and of course chocolate. In the real world, the occasional indulgence is necessary. My motto is that if you are too rigid with your diet, you may set yourself up for failure. However, when you are on phase 2 of the HCG Diet protocol, there just is no room for cheating. During this time, it is important to deal with the cravings in a healthy way.
First Line of Defense for HCG Diet Cravings
On our HCG Diet program at The Natural Path, I ask my patients to spend time and figure out if the cravings are physiological “hunger” or psychological “hunger” (i.e. cravings). Often times, eating is so behavioral and our sense of “hunger” is not actually a physiological need for food but a behavioral desire. This type of “hunger” just takes time to correct as your body adjusts to your new rhythm with food. I went through this process when I shifted over to an intermittent fasting eating schedule. It took 2-3 weeks for my body to adjust to my new eating schedule. Food provides emotional pleasure and this can be a tough one to let go of. The best medicine here is time! Within a week, or two you will notice that these cravings no longer come your way.
I recommend having 16 ounces of water and then waiting 5-10 minutes to see how you feel. I also suggest getting into a non-food related activity such as going for a walk, going for a bike ride, taking on a house project, etc. On the HCG Diet program, you can also indulge in free foods such as cucumber, celery, radish, spinach and lettuce as desired. You can also have a few egg whites if you need to.
I can promise you that it is worth the extra effort to control food cravings while you adjust to your new eating plan.
Supplemental Help for Cravings on the HCG Diet
Glutamine and chromium are two supplements that I have seen be effective in controlling cravings on the HCG Diet protocol.
Glutamine is an amino acid that is often used to optimize improve protein metabolism, balance blood sugar and even heal the lining of the gastro-intestinal system. It is also known to help deal with cravings! My recommendation is to take 1000-1500 mg of glutamine 2-3x/day. The capsules are generally tasteless and can also be used on demand for an intense craving. They can be opened up and placed under the tongue for quick sublingual absorption (500 mg for this use).
Chromium is a trace mineral that has shown to be effective in helping to keep blood sugar levels stable. When blood sugar is stable, our cravings may diminish. I suggest 1000 mcg of chromium 2-3x/day.