Here are some of my tips for how to decrease the likelihood of getting hit with a food craving. As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure’, so be intentional and plan ahead to stop you from getting a craving in the first place. It’s much harder to fight off a craving once it’s already hit!
- Eat every three hours, so you don’t get ridiculously ravenous and want to eat everything in sight.
- Drink heaps of water (thirst is often mistaken for hunger)
- Limit contact with people who are hinders to healthy eating. Or, instead of perhaps eating out with them, suggest doing something else, such as a walk, seeing a movie or having them over for a meal where you can plan a healthy spread.
- Avoid environments which trigger unhealthy eating. Most people have emotional relationships and habits which involve eating certain foods at certain places. For example, at the movies it might be a tradition to eat popcorn and lollies. If you are serious about shaping up for a particular event, then do something other than go to the movies if you really can’t do that without eating junk food. Another environment which commonly triggers unhealthy eating is being home in the late afternoon or evening. Learn to be one step ahead of your body, and plan your appointments or workouts for this time to avoid being home during this ‘danger zone’.
- Avoid being around unhealthy food when tired when you are more likely to eat without thinking and have less self-control to avoid tempting looking foods.Tiredness is part of the reason why you can easily eat a healthy breakfast and morning tea, and then struggle more and more as the day goes on, ending up reaching for the less healthy foods.
- Do everything possible to be happy and to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. These emotions cause you to crave the feel-good, calming, pleasurable hormones that get released when you eat sugar. This is why when you’ve feeling upset or stressed-out, you crave ice-cream and chocolate!
- Follow a meal-plan to eliminate poor food choices. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! I like to do a meal plan when my weekly organic vegetable delivery arrives. I plan all my dinners for the next seven nights, always making sure to cook double so there is leftovers for lunch the next day. I also plan to make one home-made snack item like protein bars, pumpkin muffins or banana bread for the week ahead.
- Don’t place too many restrictions on food. The more restrictions you have, the more you will crave and obsess over food.
All the best with overcoming your food cravings. Stay positive, and view any time you give in to a craving as an opportunity to learn, so you can make it less likely to happen again in the future.