What is ‘Mono Eating’ & Can It Cut Sugar Cravings?
by Tope Pedro, MPH, Dolce Diet Intern
After a holiday season filled with sweet treats many of us are looking for a way to reduce our intake of indulgent holiday desserts, and with that may come those intense sugar cravings. A diet trend called mono eating has recently emerged and followers claim it helps eliminate craving. What is mono eating? Does it work? Is it recommended? Let’s find out.
The mono diet involves only eating one type of food for several weeks or longer. People on the mono diet typically choose to only eat a whole food such as a fruit or a starch like bananas or potatoes. Those devoted to mono eating claim it helped with weight loss and restrained their desire for excess sugar found in indulgent foods. Followers report feeling more in control because limiting choice and variety eliminates the decision to select sugary foods. Sounding interesting? Beware.
Though following the diet may eliminate eating processed sugar, it can be very damaging to your health. Sticking to just a few foods, let alone just one food, deprives your body of essential nutrients. Someone eating just bananas or just potatoes will experience a tremendous deficiency with nutrients like protein, iron, vitamin B12, vitamin C, just name a few.
A day or a weekend of reducing your diet to a few nutritious foods may be helpful for starting a healthful eating plan, “getting back on track,” or for people easily overwhelmed by food decisions. However, variety and moderation are truly the key long-term. We need to eat a variety of foods because they each provide different nutrients needed for the optimal functioning of our bodies. Overall, long-term mono eating is not a recommended way to stop sugar cravings. So what is?
Here are 3 simple, safe and healthy tips to try!
1. Put your craving off.
Tell yourself you’ll deal with the craving in 20 minutes. Food cravings are typically short-lived, and while the desire feels overwhelming now, it will wane, especially if you can find a healthier food substitute or distract yourself.
2. Choose alternatives for your cravings.
Want something sweet? How about apple chips (recipe in “3 Convenient Travel Snacks” post) or even a small handful of dried fruit.
3. Schedule your snacks.
Plan for nutritious snacks to prevent between-meal hunger that can lead to unhealthy food choices like cookies or candy. Keep portable, healthy snacks in your desk, backpack or car.
Tope Pedro is a future dietitian currently completing her dietetic internship through San Francisco State University. She has bachelors degrees in both Biochemistry and Dietetics and a Master’s of Public Health. She is passionate about sports nutrition, which stems from her life-long experiences as an athlete, currently as a professional boxer. She also teaches cardio boxing class and enjoys working with clients to help them reach their health goals. As a registered dietitian, Tope hopes to work in the sports nutrition and fitness sectors, specifically with combat sport athletes and fitness enthusiasts.