If you find yourself binging on sweets mid-day and having too many midnight snacks, “booster foods” could be your secret weapon to curb cravings sabotaging weight loss success.
On a recent episode of the Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Mike Dow, author of Diet Rehab and co-host of TLC’s Freaky Eaters, shared his 28-day plan featuring healthy, filling “booster foods” and strategies for retraining your brain to want healthier foods. According to Dr. Dow, certain foods can fuel cravings even more, making it harder to resist them. Here are examples of how his plan works during the first four weeks:
Week One: Halt the Salt
Dr. Dow says salt is one of the worst craving offenders because it can play tricks on taste buds, raise blood pressure and trigger cravings for unhealthy, sodium-rich foods. Instead of using salt as a seasoning, he suggests trying other healthier alternatives such as black pepper, basil, cilantro, curry, ginger, oregano, paprika, rosemary, sage or turmeric.
Week Two: Snack Attack
Instead of completely eliminating “forbidden” snacks you crave the most, Dr. Dow advocates pairing “booster” snacks with “pittfall” snacks like chips and chocolate. This can start creating an association between the two, ultimately making the booster food more appetizing. Dr. Dow says alternating bites of pitfall snacks with booster foods twice a day can help make your brain start to crave the healthy booster foods too.
Week Three: ‘Swaportunities’
Dr. Dow explains that if you replace pitfall foods like fried chicken or thick cream sauces with booster foods like grilled chicken and broccoli, your body will become even more used to the booster foods as you work toward eliminating pitfall foods entirely. Try to replace at least one pitfall meal and two pitfall snacks per day.
Week Four: Lose Weight – Look Great!
During week four, Dr. Dow challenges you to replace all your meals with booster meals – but you can still indulge in one or two pitfalls snacks a day. He believes if you can eliminate virtually all pitfall foods by this time, you’ll have successfully retrained your brain to crave “all things healthy!” Dr. Dow’s Booster Food Grocery List To retrain your brain to stop craving unhealthy foods, try incorporating the following booster foods into your diet. They’ve all been selected by Dr. Dow to help you on your 28-day journey to stop craving the foods that hinder weight loss:
Grains: Quinoa, soba noodles, barley, brown rice, steel-cut oats
Protein: Chicken, turkey, trout, buffalo, navy beans, Greek yogurt, almond milk, 1% milk, goat’s milk, low-fat cottage cheese
Fruits/Vegetables: Broccoli, mushrooms, figs, grapes, kiwis
For more information about booster foods and Dr. Mike Dow’s book Diet Rehab: 28 Days to Stop Craving the Foods That Make You Fat, visit dr.mikedow.com