21 Feb Practical Ways to Kick Food Cravings
Let’s face it. We all have food cravings. Believe it or not, with some tweaks, you can start craving nourishing food instead of heavy comfort foods that leave you feeling blah.
My typical craving is a sugary treat – usually something with chocolate. Or, if I’m feeling sad, I often like a fruity, gummy treat!
What do you generally crave? Do you crave different foods depending upon the situation?
No matter how well you fuel your body, you may still experience cravings. Having some tried and true strategies will help you to deal with your cravings when they strike:
Have healthy snacks available
Have you ever noticed that if you have healthy, easy to eat foods in the fridge, you are more apt to eat them then a less healthy alternative? When you choose foods that are high in protein and fiber you will feel full for longer. One simple tip is to portion out 2 tablespoons of hummus in small containers and stash them in your fridge with fresh-cut veggies. You’ll have that crunch you want, and you’ll feel satisfied after your healthy choice. Need something sweeter? Have some apples in the fridge and top them with some almond or sunflower seed butter. For an added treat, add a raisin or chocolate chip on top.
A craving can usually be squashed with just five minutes of distraction. If you can’t stop thinking about that leftover ice cream cake from your birthday, head outside for a walk around the block. It’s amazing how a boost of fresh air can change your energy and your cravings.
The more active you are, the less time you’ll have to be focused on your cravings. Plus, when you hit the gym or do a body-weight workout at home, you’ll get a hit of dopamine – the same feelings you’d get from that Reeses peanut butter cup – and they will last longer!
Drink more water
You can easily mistake hunger for thirst if you’re not drinking enough water throughout the day. When the craving hits, drink some water. If you still feel hungry 20 minutes after, then decide what is the best choice for you at this time.
Enjoy a hot beverage
Enjoying a warm cup of broth, herbal tea or fresh brewed coffee can trick your stomach into thinking you’re full. Rather than reaching for the sugar laden hot cocoa or mocha latte, chose low calorie options. Other great options are green or white tea which are full of antioxidants
Personally, I hate feeling deprived. Instead, I try and replace a less healthy treat with a healthier alternative. For example, frozen bananas with cocoa powder makes a nice chocolate ice cream alternative, or try Halo Top to avoid derailing your efforts. Another favorite is to blend frozen cherries for a delicious sorbet that is always refreshing. It’s all about trial and error as you find healthier alternatives to replace your favorite comfort foods.
The more you eat healthy, nourishing foods, the more you’ll crave that satisfied, energized feeling you have after eating a nutritious meal. A healthy lifestyle is all about balance – make healthy choices to fuel your body most of the time, and look forward to mindfully choosing special treats and take the time to truly enjoy them.
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