Hey Falconey, I think A LOT of people can relate to your battle with cravings and portion control. I know I can.
I personally crave sweets vs. carbs. I've found I can't just have 1 cookie b/c as soon as I have one ... I want 4 more. I can't even have a package of cookies in the house b/c I can't sleep knowing they are just in the other room. My father is like you. He craves breads, pasta, etc. I'm not a nutritionist, but I have read quite a bit on the topic. It sounds like you might not need to give up breads, but rather refined carbs and move to whole grain carbs instead. Whole grain foods help to control your blood sugar and are higher in fiber which in turn will help control your food cravings & the fiber will help you feel fuller. They make whole grain breads, pastas, crackers, pretzels, cereals, pancake mix .... so you can still have your favorite foods -- just a modified version. I would also recommend adding some protein to any of the whole grain carbs that you eat. Protein will help keep you feeling satiated after you eat.
On the portion size issue .... I saw a nutritionist about 2 months ago who gave me a few small strategies to try. Some may sound silly, but I've been doing them and I've found that they actually have helped. You may have heard that it takes your brain about 20 minutes before it realizes your full. The big key is to eat slower. Here are some of the things she recommended I do.
Before you sit down to your meal drink 8oz of water
Don't eat in front of the TV or computer. Be mindful of the food you're eating. Taste every ingredient
Don't load your fork or spoon. Take small bites. Your food isn't going to run or the plate and your not going to starve in 20 minutes.
Chew your food 10-20 times before swallowing
Eat with chopsticks (I actually do this when I'm at home & it works)
If you're eating with a fork, put the fork down after each bite and take a sip of water
Also make sure you're not ravenous at each meal time. You might be better off having a handful of almonds an hour before your planning to eat to help curb your appetite.
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