Cravings - we all get them.
But did you know that specific cravings can actually be your body’s way of letting you know that something in your body is lacking? That something can be anything from an imbalance in hormones, fluids, vitamins or other essential amino acids that naturally occur in the body.
Understanding this primal reaction your body is having to simply protecting you should help you to disassociate any guilt or shame you have around your cravings.
Because at the end of the day...
Your body might actually be trying to tell you something.
If you know for a fact that you are eating enough high quality foods rich in micronutrients, fiber and minerals, but still, without reason or understanding why, you’re getting these persistent and strong cravings almost everyday, you may want to consider the following:
1. Cravings can be directly correlated with our emotions
We may be using food as a coping mechanism which means we would need to make an effort to break current habits and find other activities in order to fill those emotional voids instead of using food. This takes time, patience and consistency but can be done.
2. Your meal plan/diet should include the foods you like and enjoy
That’s right, I said it. You should NOT feel like you are in a state of deprivation even if your goal is weight loss. It is possible to still eat the foods you love and enjoy while working towards your goals- just do so moderately. If we are constantly “treating ourselves” and giving into every single one of our cravings, yes, it may be difficult to make any progress. However, making sure you are genuinely enjoying the foods you eat is also an extremely important component to staying happy and satisfied.
3. Drink plenty of water
When we’re dehydrated, we often reach for food. Make sure you are drinking at least 2-3 liters of water a day.
4. Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep a night
Recent sleep studies show that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night consistently tend to over eat by 300-500 calories a week.
5. Keep substitutes/alternatives easily accessible in home
Crave ice cream at night? Have halo top- it’s under 300 calories for an entire pint! Crave chocolate bars? Have a yummy Luna bar or chocolate power crunch bar. Or just get a mini chocolate bar to satisfy yourself.
You can also consider one of the following healthier sweets when your next craving hits:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Halo top ice cream (one pint is only 200-350 calories- yes- one PINT!)
Watermelon (it's the season!) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Frozen banana dipped in dark chocolate⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate
Dark chocolate squares⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Greek yogurt with 1 tbsp of cacao organic powder⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Having healthier snacking alternatives readily available can help with preventing you from self-sabotaging.