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Sep 22, 2020

11 Tips to Tackle Food Cravings


11 Tips to Tackle Food Cravings

Let's talk about food cravings. Before you eat, have you ever thought about whether or not you are genuinely hungry or whether you just crave food? Cravings have very little to do with hunger. If you eat dessert every night, you'll start to yearn for it regularly. But habits are malleable.


Know the 5 Ds of food cravings:

  • Delay – wait it out for 20 minutes
  • Distract – try doing something else
  • Distance – don't keep the temptation on hand in the kitchen
  • Determine – think about how much you actually want to resist temptation
  • Decide – plan how much to eat, slow down and enjoy it

Here are some old-school craving tips that will work.


Eat a variety of foods

Your body gets the nutrients it needs from different types of foods, and no single food can supply all the nutrients. Research suggests that people get addicted to refined foods such as white bread, white pasta, and sugar. The more you eat these, the more the cravings. Break the cycle. Eliminating refined foods from your diet will curb your food cravings. Eat more nuts, beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods. Allow time for a healthy snack that is full of fiber, protein, and healthy fat to keep you fuller for longer. Fiber makes you fuller and is great for your digestion.


Drink lots of water

Often, our bodies mistake thirst for hunger. Dehydration causes some people to crave salty foods. Keep a water bottle handy throughout the day to make it easy to satisfy your fluid needs.


Wait it out

Most times, the wisest way to deal with our cravings is to wait it out. If you can convince yourself that it's mind over matter, then food cravings aren't such a roadblock to your fitness goals. When you're craving junk food, although it may seem counter-intuitive, what your body really is asking for is nutrient-dense foods. Prioritize balanced meals and snacks.


Try 'urge surfing'

Acknowledge the moment that you want a chocolate, or chips, or whatever your craving is, and try being Zen about it. Don't try to push the feeling away, or ignore it. Urge surfing is a mindfulness technique of accepting a craving for what it is rather than resisting it and wanting it to go away.


Eat slowly & Plan ahead

It can take up to 20 minutes for your stomach to send the message to your brain that it's full. If you slow down and savor each bite, reaching for a dessert right after dinner may seem less appealing. Plan your meals and snacks for the day beforehand, so that you eliminate the uncertainty. If you know what you will be eating throughout the day, you won't grab junk food when hunger hits.


Make clever swaps

Craving Pasta? Try the fiber/ protein-rich varieties made out of lentils or chickpeas which are surprisingly filling or use spiralized veggie noodles – they are literally everywhere now in the grocery stores, fresh and frozen. Tip: try using zucchini or eggplant slices in your lasagna.


Craving ice cream? Try whipping up a frozen dessert bowl with a cup of frozen berries and ¼ to ½ cup of your favorite milk. Blend in ½ scoop of protein powder for more oomph!


Your body might not like being told it can't have its treat, but it doesn't mind a swap. Instead of chocolate cake for dessert, have some cacao nibs or dark chocolate which have fewer calories. No, they won't give you the exact same pleasure, but you'll get enough gratification to hold you over until the craving fades.


Give in (a little!)

Allow yourself to enjoy something in a sensible amount before the sense of deprivation builds up. If you really want ice-cream or chocolate occasionally, then have it. Always remember there is nothing wrong with indulging occasionally in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced diet.


Get enough sleep

Cravings can sneak up when you are tired. When you have a sleepless night, you are more likely to crave carbohydrates and sugar to keep going.


Learn to identify emotions

Cravings are not always the result of emotions, but for some, emotional eating can be an issue. If your craving is coming from boredom, find an activity that will take your mind off your craving without adding calories. Replacing eating with an activity you find emotionally satisfying is a great way to handle cravings. It seems so simple but small changes can add up to big results in building a healthy lifestyle.


Exercise may keep your cravings in check

Exercise is another proven way to relieve stress. Go for a walk, sign on for a fitness program or workout at the gym if you're comfortable. Make sure you've eaten enough at mealtimes to stop you from reaching for sugary treats in the afternoon or evening. Once you have your go-to strategies in place, you will find that cravings are manageable. Though it might be difficult to establish new habits, it will certainly get easier with time.


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It seems so simple but small changes like these can add up to big results in building a healthy lifestyle! What's your favorite craving swap!? Let us know below!!

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