When you crave carb-heavy eats like bread and pasta, it may be because your energy levels have taken a nosedive. Thing is, these same empty carbs can make you crave even more unhealthy foods. “When you go too long without eating, or consume too many simple carbohydrates, your blood sugar drops, triggering your body to reach for starchy foods that are quick and easily digestible,” explains Jessica “Chef Jess” Swift, RD, a Washington, DC-area nutritionist and classically trained chef. “This will allow your blood sugar to spike and get back to normal quickly, but not make you full.” If you’ve ever eaten pizza and then craved ice cream an hour later, this is what’s happening to your body.
If you’re craving carbs and nothing else will do, opt for whole grain—they’re rich in fiber and take longer to digest, which means they’ll keep you feeling full for longer than simple carbs. (Plus, there are plenty of other health benefits of whole grains.) This overnight oats recipe is a Health staff favorite.