6 Ways to Combat Food Cravings
Cravings! How are you doing in the cravings department? Are you having some or many food cravings as of late? Cravings occur for so many reasons and can wreak havoc on anyone trying to adhere to a healthy lifestyle.
One of the biggest challenges to making healthy life changes in our life is addressing our food cravings. Most of the time, these cravings come about because of low blood sugar, no sleep, stress, and hormones. Additionally, emotions may trigger cravings. If your boss disrespected you or you just argued with a relative, for example, you may find yourself craving sweets. Here are a few ideas to help you overcome your cravings.
Learn to manage them, and you won’t have to worry about them sabotaging your healthy eating or weight loss efforts.
Tip #1: Hydrate
It is essential always to have some liquids around, preferably water, to get us through the day. The body comprises more than 60% water, with the brain composed of over 70% of it. We lose water via breathing, excretion, and perspiration throughout the day, so it only makes sense to fuel the body with water, the best possible water we can find. We often misinterpret the signals our body is sending us. Sometimes when we think we are hungry, we are dehydrated, needing some liquids in the body. The next time you start craving something out of the blue, have a glass of water to satisfy you. Water can be quite filling, and it helps balance the metabolism. Though water is not a meal, sipping on it or other liquids that are not full of sugar is beneficial. It helps us not crave something that may be bad for us, avoid binging and make us feel satiety.
Tip #2: Positive Self-Talk
We need to have a healthy mindset consisting of positive self-talk now more than ever. Positive self-talk is imperative when a craving comes along, which is often set off by a stressor that had just occurred. When we feel food cravings coming on, it is time to start speaking to the mountain trying to destroy us and let it know that we are in control of our lives. It is necessary to ensure that no relapse comes when trying to lose weight or hit a healthy health goal that is within sight. Using our words to address whatever chatter that may be going on in the head is a powerful tool to defeat food cravings.
Tip #3: Keep Healthy Snack Near
Snacks that are healthy such as nuts, apples, almond butter, and veggie sticks, are quite beneficial to have around at all times. A wholesome bar with minimum sugar is also helpful to have near. Ladies, we often go out with purses, so there are no excuses to not have a snack on us at all times, and males, if you have pants pockets, a nourishing moringa bar, fruits, or nuts are always helpful snacks for you. Everyone that drives can keep snacks in their car sealed up and out of reach of unwelcomed creatures. Do note that one of the most common causes for cravings is low blood sugar, so avoid processed sugars that take your blood sugar levels on a rocky roller coaster throughout the day, making anyone irritable. Emmy’s Organics and Kuli Kuli are two of our favorite snacks to have on hand, in addition to fruits, veggies, and seeds.
Tip #4: Eat Consciously
Being mindful of what we put in our mouths and how it makes us feel is one of the easiest ways to avoid cravings. When we decide to change our eating habits to a cleaner lifestyle, we will notice that there are just some things that do not jive with our body anymore, and once we eat them, we feel horrible. Sometimes food cravings can zap us from the energy we had before eating it. Once we notice that, it is time to start saying no more; it is not worth it because feeling vibrant and full of energy and not sluggish, lacking energy is more important. Keeping a journal to monitor what we eat and how we feel and think after meals are helpful. Once we know our triggers, it will help make sure we stay on track to healthy living. A good example is wanting a candy bar or meal filled with dairy when we are lactose intolerant.
Tip #5: Stress Management
A big reason people overeat or have unhealthy food cravings is stress. Stress can impact our emotions, hormones, and sugar levels. It can come on with no notice, so it is crucial to combat it safely to avoid disruption in everyday living. There are many harmless ways to manage stress. A few practical approaches are exercising, meditating, reading, laughing, or simply talking about your mind with a trusted advisor. Taking out a journal is always a great way to destress because you can let your thoughts out freely, unjudged on paper. Value your temple, use your mind and positive words to reduce and ultimately prevent unhealthy cravings that can sabotage your wellness goals.
Tip #6: Sleep Well
Sometimes food cravings come about because we are not getting enough sleep. Ensuring we get in the bed at a particular consistent time every night, especially if we do not work the third shift, helps the circadian rhythm (internal clock) function properly. We should allow ourselves to fall asleep and wake up well-rested without an alarm clock but at a set time daily. There is indeed a link between cravings, a huge appetite, and sleep, so let’s make sure to get enough sleep every night; 7 to 9 hours is optimal.
In conclusion, though, food cravings may never stop as long as we are on this earth. We can do things to prepare ourselves for when they come knocking to make sure we do not fall into temptation. We shall stay hydrated, conduct positive self-talk, have healthy snacks on hand, engage in conscious eating, practice stress management, and get enough sleep to alleviate unwelcome cravings.
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