Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cravings - Tips to help you kick them to the curb!!

There are a couple ways you can go about cutting cravings... 1. You could try to stop eating that stuff  'cold turkey'  2. You can gradually ease into it.  We're ALL different, choose the option that works best for YOU!!   I'm a firm believer in NOT completely depriving yourself from those things you "crave", at first, otherwise, in my opinion, you're setting yourself up for failure! I mean we're all human, right?... so unless, you're trying to hit a goal quick or getting ready for some kind of competition, it's OK to let yourself indulge on those cravings from time to time, just know your limits!!  BUT, I do also think the longer you go without it the less you will "crave" it. :)
First things first... Are you really having a craving OR do you just want the food because it's conveniently right there for you to have??  This is the first question we need to ask ourselves when we get a "craving".   I know for me personally 9 times out of 10 it's really just because I know the food is there.  BUT if you really are craving something it probably means your body is trying to tell you it's lacking something else...

WHY do we crave certain foods and WHAT can we do to ease those cravings??

What is our body really telling us when we crave....

"Sugary Foods"
It means your body really needs chromium, carbon, phosphorous, sulfur, OR tryptophan.
Try eating some kind of fresh fruit - Fruits have a lot of natural sugars in them, so while we don't want to "over do it" on fruits, they are still a healthier option than sugar coated candies or ice cream! Lately, I've been doing a sliced apple with a little cinnamon sprinkled on it and a few walnut halves on the side. It really does kick that sweet tooth and fills me up!   IF you're not a fan of fruits you could also try eating a little cheese, chicken, broccoli, or sweet potato.   :)

It means your body really needs magnesium.
Try eating: Nuts, seeds, veggies, or fresh fruits.  IF you absolutely think you "need" chocolate and you think you can limit yourself you could try having an ounce or 2 of dark chocolate or few few mini chocolate chips. 

It means your body needs nitrogen, which is found in high-protein foods like fish, meat, nuts, and beans.
Try to eat: A turkey burger, a handful of almonds, or some tuna. You might also be craving carbs because you’re trying to cut them out of you diet completely. If this is the reason, make sure you’re eating every food group in moderation to prevent a big, unplanned carb-fest.

"Salty Foods"
It means your body needs chloride or silicon, which is essential in order for your body to maintain healthy digestion and keep your electrolyte levels in check, according to Nutritional Wellness.
Try eating: A handful of cashews, a tuna sandwich, or sun flower seeds.

It means your body needs salt and iron.
Try eating: Lean proteins like chicken or turkey, eggs, or even black cherries.  One option here would be to an omelet with turkey and veggies, with a handful of black cherries on the side. According to Huffington Post, craving caffeine can also mean you’re actually just really thirsty or dehydrated!
 Drink an entire glass of water before you reach for that second (or third) cup of coffee... you might realize you don’t even need it

"Greasy Foods"
It means your body needs calcium.
Try to eat: String cheese, steamed broccoli, or kale chips.  It might not sound quite as good as those French fries, but it will leave you feeling way better.


Be prepared when the food craving hits!!

Pack healthy snack option- If you're on the go take pre-portion snack size healthy options with you. Make sure you measure portions out ahead of time so you don't overeat. The snack size Ziploc baggies are perfect for this!   So, for example, if you're doing fruits, veggies, or nut... figure out how much 1 portion should be and separate them into snack size baggies!
> Eat Regularly - Eating several small meals a day will help reduce cravings. Waiting too long between each meal can cause you to craving 'bad' foods.  Try eating 5 or 6 small meals a day consisting of protein, veggies, and a few healthy carbs.  
> Going for a walk - Sometimes all you need to do is get up and move to get your mind off of the food and boost your energy level.  Take a walk around the block or do some jumping jacks.
> Grab some gum -  Maybe all you're really craving is "chewing" on something.  And research has shown that chewing gum can actually reduce food cravings!
> Drink Water - Make sure you are drinking plenty of water. This will help keep you fuller longer and can help reduce cravings.  I try to drink a full gallon each day, but they to drink half of you body weight in ounces... so if you're 150lbs you should drink 75oz of water.

I hope this, at least, gives you a couple ideas of what to do next time you get a craving!! I know all this research gave me a few good ideas to try next time a craving hits!  Just remember, go easy on yourself. It may take time to get a handle on your cravings. Just take it day by day and do your best!! :)   "You don't have to be perfect to start, BUT you do have to start to become 'perfect'"

What foods do you crave the most?
Leave your list below! And if you have know of any other ideas, not listed above, for kicking unwanted cravings, leave your tips below too.  :)

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