What you’ll need...
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium sized sweet potato, cut into chunks
- ½ butternut pumpkin, cut into chunks
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons finely diced sage
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 1 handful of baby spinach
- 4 eggs & 2 egg whites
- 250g of low fat ricotta
- ¼ cup of oat flour
What to do…
1. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Toss sweet potato and pumpkin in olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes or until just cooked.
2. Meanwhile, sauté onion, garlic and sage in a medium saucepan for 5 minutes or until soft.
3. Place the pumpkin and sweet potato in a medium bowl, add onion mixture, spinach, flour and mix well. Whisk eggs, egg whites and ricotta together and then add to bowl. Mix to combine.
4. Pour into a lined spring-form cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until set.
At 10.30am it’s a couple of scotch finger at work , by noon it’s KFC, at 3 pm you can’t live without that Tim -Tam or piece of chocolate, and by 9 pm you’re spoon-deep in a tub of Ben and Jerry's Monkey Chunky ice cream. Sound too familiar? If you feel like you’re constantly craving one food or another, it’s very likely that you’re simply not eating properly.
First, you may just be hungry. Do you get enough calories from protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates? Do you eat at fairly regular intervals? When you’re hungry, you’re more likely to crave high-calorie, high-fat foods. Cravings are also often related to dips in blood sugar levels, which happen when you don’t eat regularly enough. If you experience a dip in blood sugar, you’re likely to look for a quick fix in the form of chocolate or other sweet treat. Low-fibre and calorie-dense foods, such as lollies and biscuits, generally increase appetite. On the other hand, high-fibre, bulky foods curb appetite.
Eating regular, well-balanced meals, with plenty of low-fat protein (eggs, fish, lean meat, legumes, leafy greens) will ensure that your blood sugar levels are stable and that you are getting the calories your body requires throughout the day. This can make a huge difference to getting your cravings under control. You fill up faster on protein because the amino acids in protein prompt a signal that tells the brain you're getting enough.
Smart snacking on fruit, nuts, seeds (pumpkin, sunflower etc.) chopped vegetables, homemade soup, yoghurt or low-fat cheese will also help you prevent a mid-afternoon blood-sugar slump and the cravings that accompany it.
Five Top Tips to Tame the Tastebuds
1. The Four D's If you are facing a craving that a small portion won't fix, try putting the 'Four Ds' into practice. This is a system used in smoking-cessation programs to help smokers relieve the need for a cigarette, even when they're desperate.
- Delay for a few minutes and the urge will pass
- Drink water
- Deep breathe
- Do something else to take your mind off eating
2. Let yourself feel a little hunger. If you're feeling hungry after a meal or snack, keep in mind that it's also okay to feel less than full or to feel a little hungry even after you've eaten. In fact, most people who have lost weight and kept it off have learned to be comfortable with this feeling.
3. Don't get too tired. Too little sleep affects hunger and appetite hormones adversely. If you're struggling to control your appetite, make sure that you're getting enough sleep.
4. Steer clear of appetite-stimulating foods. Avoid the sights and smells of junk food and foods that stimulate your appetite by keeping them out of your line of sight - out of the house, away from your desk, out of the car. Remember - out of sight, out of mind
5. Be mindful. Staying mindful of your weight and health goals is also a good way to calm your appetite and get things in perspective. When your appetite screams out "Feed me!" it's always wise to take a minute to picture yourself lean and healthy, and then decide whether you are still hungry.At the end of the day, appetite control is all about making the right decision at the right time, If you don't learn to control your appetite, losing weight will always be an uphill battle.
Learn to control it instead of letting it control you.