How to Beat Your Worst Food Cravings
Jan 6th 2016
Stop answering when unhealthy snacks are calling your name
Getting fit goes beyond getting enough physical activity (although, that is part of the equation). And with food playing such a prominent role in our everyday lives and celebrations, it can sometimes be hard to recognize if we’ve had a little too much of the wrong food groups. If you’re ready to get healthy and combat even the most convincing food cravings, follow these tips:
1. Meet their match
When your body is craving certain foods, it’s often because its missing certain nutrients. For example, when you think you’re craving a chocolate bar, what your body really wants is a handful of almonds to curb that roasted, creamy craving. Or, if you’re reaching for bread, you should really be grabbing some fatty fish instead. There are tons of replacements you can make when you’re craving certain foods that can lead to a healthier you in the long run.
2. Substitute for lighter options when possible
Let’s be honest: you might not always have the strength to totally beat your cravings (in other words, you know almonds aren’t going to knock out your chocolate craving). If you can’t go without chocolate, try a handful of cocoa-covered almonds instead — just make sure you stick to serving sizes! Portion control can make all the difference.
And if you think you can’t go another day without getting your hands (and mouth) on some ice cream, you might find yourself delighted by a fruity substitution. You can make a fresh fruit smoothie filled with fresh strawberries, bananas, pineapple, or any other fruits you love — and you can even toss in spinach or kale! It may switch up the color, but it won’t change the flavor of your favorite smoothie.
You can even make a homemade vegan banana “ice cream.” Peel and freeze 2-3 bananas. Once they’re frozen, add them to your blender along with any flavors you want (try strawberries, cocoa powder, or a spoonful of protein-packed peanut butter!). Blend those with a touch of liquid (like almond milk or even water) for a thick, rich fruit “ice cream.”
3. Mind over matter
It might seem farfetched, but ignoring your food cravings might actually help combat them! By the time you distract yourself enough to invest that time into something else that’s more important, you might not even remember that craving that flashed by your mind. Instead of telling myself I can’t have something I’m really craving, I play a little game with myself: Let’s just see how long can you go without it. I’ll admit, sometimes it’s five minutes. But more often, it turns from a few minutes to a few hours, from a few hours to a few days. And by that time, the craving has passed.
4. Meet their maker
Once you start looking more into the ingredients manufacturers use in many snack food items, you might start to realize those snacks you once craved aren’t quite so appetizing anymore.
5. Make it minty
Once you get a taste of minty freshness, you might not find yourself craving those junky snacks anymore. Whether that means brushing your teeth (hello, clean mouth!) or popping a piece of gum, this is an easy solution to curb your worst food cravings.
6. Keep track of your snack attack
Some people don’t even notice how often they’re taking snack breaks — or how unhealthy the food they’re eating is. A simple solution to that is to keep a food journal to track what snacks you’re eating throughout the day. You might be surprised at what you find. If you notice you’ve kept your cravings under control, that’s a great reason to treat yourself every now and then to something on the “naughty” food list.
7. Get out and have some fun!
Believe it or not, your snacking might be attributed to nothing more than boredom rather than actual hunger. Instead of eating, why not get out there and have some fun? Distract yourself with a bit of good, clean fun and exercise. Whether you love to relieve stress on a trampoline like me or have your own favorite exercise, get out there and get moving!