How can we stop the dreaded cravings for all the treats we want to eat?
I admit, I’ve not reached my beginning-of-the-year goals. My eating habits can go off track on a fun weekend, especially with all the good foods around.
Here’s the thing though, cravings aren’t necessarily a bad thing, nor do they have to be dreaded. It’s okay to treat yourself once in a while. However, if you’re trying to achieve a specific outcome (say weight-loss or health goals), caving into the cravings every time you have them won’t help in reaching those intended objectives. We all want to feel our best and live our best lives, and that includes making sure our bodies are running in the most efficient way possible. With that said, how does one reduce cravings?
These are a few things I do that helps me…
– Cut out processed sugars – Anything that doesn’t come from the earth or has been changed from its natural state will probably have some type of sugar added to it. Soda, candy, baked goods, etc. all have a ton of sugar. It’s best to stay away, but if you can’t, try natural sugar.
RxBars hit the spot for me. They’re so yummy and you can read and understand the ingredients.
– Eat fresh fruit. Keep your serving sizes minimal. Berries have less sugar, so try to eat blueberries (they’re a great source of fiber), blackberries, raspberries, strawberries.
– Drink more water, at least half your body weight in ounces per day. Thirst can sometimes be mistaken for hunger or food cravings. When you’re having a craving, drink a full glass of water and wait ten minutes. See if the craving goes away. The National Center for Biotechnology Information has studies that show drinking water before meals helps reduce appetite and aids with weight loss.
Drink More Water
– Remember the reason you want to reach your goals. If you have a vision and purpose toward eating healthy remember it. Write post-it notes that help remind you of this purpose.
– Wait ten minutes before eating the snack. Wait ten more minutes. If you’re still craving and really want it, then eat it. However, don’t let yourself feel guilty afterwards. Let yourself enjoy the treat, and then know that you’ll be back on track for your next meal. It’s okay to let your body have what it needs every once in a while. Depriving yourself will only make you want it that much more.
– Have someone keep you accountable. Help or work with each other. If there are goodies in the house that you’re tempted by have a spouse or roommate hide the food from you. Be honest in letting them know your struggle. They should be more than willing to help.
– Share a dessert or treat meal with a friend. If you want a burger and fries, go in with a friend and share it. Track how much you’re eating and make sure the next meal keeps you on track.
I shared my Disney Dole Whip with a friend and it was glorious.
– Plan your meals ahead of time. More than likely, you won’t want to waste that food you’ve already prepared.
– Find a way to de-stress. Stress raises blood-levels of cortisol, a hormone known for weight-gain, especially in the belly area. I have to be aware of when I’m stressed because I tend to eat when I’m emotional. I’ll go for a walk or do some heavy breathing exercises. In addition, I’ll pray or meditate for five minutes to get my stress under control.
– Get enough sleep. Sleep is so important for your body to recover from the day to day activities. Sleep deprivation can cause the hormones in the body to feel disrupted and that fluctuation can affect the appetite.
Whatever the goal is be sure to do the things that are comfortable for you and your body. Above all, listen to what its telling you. Your intuition will pick up on the things it needs. In turn, your body will thank you.
Those small tips help me and hope they help you. Keep up those goals. Only four and a half months left of this year and then we’re in a new one. Therefore, make the most of the rest of this year. You got this!