Whether you’re trying to tone down your carb consumption, going full-on ketogenic, or just focusing on eating “healthy” carbs instead of bowls of white pasta, experiencing carb cravings is probably ALWAYS going to happen. But indulging in some carbs (or foods that taste sneakily like carbs) can be both healthy and delicious… You just have to know the right healthy eating hacks. We talked to Martina Della Vedova, nutritional advisor for Nature’s Plus, about the best ways to stay on track when you’re trying to shift your diet.

Fresh hummus is served with celery and carrot sticks

1. Eat your protein. When you’re trying to eat well, it’s important to get enough protein. Not only does protein help satiate you, but it can actually provide glucose to your cells, helping to accomplish many of the same effects as carbs. Della Vedova suggests eating “protein-rich snacks such as eggs, raw spinach, raw carrots, celery with hummus, olive pate, or a protein shake. Protein helps keep blood sugar in balance and avoid insulin spikes and drops.”

2. Snack on something crunchy. Carb cravings can mean different things. When you want to pop some potato chips or french fries, a salty, crunchy snack might do the trick beautifully. That’s why Della Vedova says to snack on “nuts and seeds such as raw almonds, cashews, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, or macadamia nuts. These are great options as snacks when you feel you need to munch on something.”

A gluten-free, low-carb udon soup is prepared with zoodles

3. Kick pasta cravings with zoodles. If you’ve been eating low-carb for a while, you’re probably no stranger to the concept of zoodles. But they’re popular for a reason — they give you the feel of a big bowl o’ pasta minus all the heavy carbs. “[Go for] seaweed spaghetti or spiralized raw zucchini with freshly made pesto,” encourages Della Vedova. “This is a great option for when you feel the need of comforting foods, as zucchini contains high-fiber carbohydrates. These are ideal to maintain blood sugar under control.”

4. Find healthy alternatives to dessert. A craving for sweets can be a real diet-wrecker, so try to find more nutritious alternatives. If you’re not doing full-on keto and are okay with eating some whole grains, Della Vedova recommends oat cakes with coconut oil and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Trying to stay super-low-carb? There are tons of low-carb desserts you can whip up.

5. Drink up. A lot of people think they’re hangry, only to discover that they simply weren’t drinking enough water. If you’re eating low-carb, your body needs extra hydration. A glass of lemon water with a pinch of salt should help rebalance your electrolytes and stave off headaches and pangs.

Tweet us your favorite treat to eat when you’re craving carbs @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)