Whether you are at home, work or out for a drink with friends you are still thinking about that big delicious ice-cream, or how to have just a sip of that large cold beer, well don’t! Just don’t, because you know that just a bite of the ice-cream or just a sip of the beer won’t be enough, you are going to eat all of it or drink the whole beer.
Do not worry, you aren’t the only one, cravings can spell trouble for the most committed healthy eaters. When you crave for something it means that your body is missing something, and normally this is caused by a lack of nutrients but it can also be emotional. Cravings can destroy your goals, you can lose weight easier and faster by overcoming carvings. Let’s have a look at some options how to beat cravings and what to do, it is too early to lose hope or give up.
- Make yourself happy!
One of the reasons why you crave something is because you are bored, stressed or unhappy. Let’s break the routine and get out of the box. “When you're under pressure, your body releases the hormone cortisol, which signals your brain to seek out rewards. Comfort foods loaded with sugar and fat basically "apply the brakes" to the stress system by blunting this hormone.” explains researcher Norman Pecoraro, PhD. So what you have to do is relax, take a deep breath, close your eyes and do some stretches. You can also go for a short walk, if you are at the office you can use the stairs, or go to the park, listen to a song which brings you good memories, makes you smile and forget about the world.
- Eat healthy foods!
Sugar cravings may be as a result of magnesium deficiency, so make sure to eat magnesium rich foods. Healthy fats keep your blood sugar stable, and the deficiency of foods that are high in zinc and mineral chromium can lead to sugar cravings, so in general it is all about nutrition. You go for those sugar cravings as your body is missing the right nutrients. When you eat the foods that you are craving (unhealthy foods) you are filling your body with the wrong and unhealthy nutrients which lead to weight gain and many other health problems. Keep healthy foods next to you, prepare some healthy snacks ahead in small boxes which you can carry anywhere. If you are craving about a soda, beer or any other sugary drink the answer is simple, drink water! You can make it taste better by adding sweet fruits as watermelon, berries or you can also add lemon or lime. You crave what you eat, so after making healthy choices and breaking the bad habit you will later crave for healthy foods, it is hard in the beginning but it is worth it.
- Focus on short-term and long-term health goals!
Paying attention to a goal, such as losing weight or getting in shape, activates the pre-frontal cortex - a part of the brain that can inhibit the reward region.
The technique provides a one-two punch. In addition to deadening the craving, it also increases your ability to fight temptation. It may even keep you from rationalizing or bargaining with yourself. So write down your goals, what you want to achieve, put them somewhere you can see them, be specific, do not set very high goals because later you may get disappointed that is why short-term goals are crucial and of course set long term-goals.
- Distract yourself!
Studies have shown that cravings usually last 10 minutes. So know that, and divert your mind. Call friends, take a nap, or play a game, try not to think about it and you’ll be fine. Try to avoid the places or stuff that makes you think about the cravings, if you went past the bakery and cannot stop thinking about that pizza smell, then do not go near it, avoiding helps you not to think about it, after all it is all in your brain.
Finally, it may be concluded that practice makes everything better, so practicing to make healthy choices will become an addiction and your ability to resist temptation becomes stronger over time. Write a food journal, and when you have a look at it, you will be more than happy to see that no sugary drinks, cakes, junk food or other unhealthy foods were consumed. So sweet!
- If you are craving for cookies or cake, try a protein bar or fiber-rich granola bar.
- If you are craving for a candy bar try a protein bar or dark chocolate chips
- If you are craving for an ice-cream try frozen grapes, watermelon or frozen fruit smoothie.
- If you are craving for candy try dry fruit or whole fruit.
- If you are craving for a soda or juice try water, fruit infused water or a smoothie.
- If you are craving for cheese or French fries try nuts, almonds or seeds.
- If you are craving for crackers, chips or pretzels try carrot sticks, cucumber slices or celery sticks.
- If you are craving for bread or pasta try meat, fatty, fish or nuts.