cravings

How to Beat Unhealthy Cravings For Good This Year

Okay, so you’re leaving work and you’ve had a long day. For some reason, nothing  seemed to go quite right today. You skipped lunch because you desperately needed to finish a project that required completion by the end of the day. Now you’re finally leaving work-feeling tired, a tad bit anxious and extremely hungry. You stop at the light, look to your right and the answer to your nightmare day appears- Sunshine Donut shop. And yes, you’re favorite cinnamon roll is calling your name-more like screaming it. What do you do? Do you give in to your craving or opt for something healthier?

Food specific cravings are common. Studies show that most women admit to having a craving, at least once, every two – three months or more.  In reality, the word craving is harmless but the truth is, the reaction to cravings and urges can wreak havoc on your efforts to maintain or lose weight.

Research has proven that you’re more apt to give in to cravings during certain moments. Studies shows that cravings are fueled by chemicals in the brain that urge you to eat specific types of foods to provide a rush of euphoria. As a result it’s easy to desire this feeling over and over.

Identifying the root(s) of your cravings can help you get a grip on them. Even the most disciplined person can potentially fall prey to cravings when they let their guard down.  Moments in which we’re prone to dietary destruction can also detour to weight loss and health derailment. Stay on track with your fitness and health goals with these sure fire craving crusher tips.

 

1. Identify craving cues.

Oftentimes, cravings culminate from a food/event association. For instance, if you’ve always associated dinner with dessert then you’ll be more inclined to crave something sweet after dinner. The cue sparks your brain’s pleasure center and causes a  release of dopomine which urges you to seek out the thing your craving. Cravings can also increase feelings of hunger.

Fix: Avoid having cravings at  your fingertips. Keep healthier options available. Love salt? Elect for sea salt snacks. Want something sugary? Try something naturally sweetened like your favorite fruit, or granola. Do you love crunch snacks? Chomp on some raw veggies: carrots and celery with hummus. Good news! Our healthy snacks to try in 2015 is on the way too! Stay posted.

2. Avoid skipping meals.  One of the biggest craving triggers is skipping meals. Establish a regular eating schedule, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and a couple healthy, yet filling snacks. You’ll find yourself craving less as you fill up on more. Starving your body only causes it to go into a panic/survival mode activating those meddlesome cravings.

3. Take a snip of your snack.  Sometimes it’s okay to give in-moderately. The truth is, there will be times those healthy substitutes won’t satisfy your craving.  When that occurs, give yourself permission to have a small portion of your favorite foods and enjoy that pint size portion to the fullest. No need to obsess over what you can’t have. Prevent a potential binge attack and relish a smaller portion of your favorite snack.

4. Get a grip on stress. Tension makes you more likely to be captivated by cravings. Most often cravings are also associated with comfort, providing a false sense that food is alleviating a problem. Address problems and concerns head on with counseling, talking to a friend, processing, or journaling.  Also, incorporating a regular exercise routine into your life can prove to be  is a highly effective way to manage stress and anxiety. Whatever you do, don’t try to fix problems by consuming food, unnecessarily. Besides providing a quick “feeling fix”, it doesn’t work!

5. Avoid negative self-talk. “I better just get used to this fat belly because I can’t seem to give up my daily doughnut craving. Tell yourself you’re going to gain control of your eating, exercise the control and watch the results begin.Remind yourself that you control your cravings, they do not control you. It’s easy to fuel cravings with our words and mindset. Re-framing your thoughts and words as well as practicing healthy eating habits can help you keep unhealthy cravings at bay.