We all have times where we find ourselves having to deal with the calling of cravings. Whether you’re trying to limit the amount of sugar you consume; reducing alcohol or losing weight, whatever you’re aiming to achieve, here are our top tips to keep the cravings at bay…
First of all, it’s important to distinguish if the cravings you’re feeling are coming from your body or your mind.
Physical cravings are your body’s way of telling you that it’s been a while since you’ve last eaten and you need to eat.
Emotions play a big part in food cravings too. Often when we’re feeling stressed, anxious, frustrated, lonely… all those feelings can trigger our cravings.
Sensory triggers, like smells and visual cues, can also set off cravings. Like when you walk past a bakery and smell freshly baked bread, chances are you’re going to start salivating.
So how do you cope when all you can think about is the onefood? If you’re not physically hungry, try some of our suggestions;
Brush your teeth; or gargle with mouthwash. The fresh taste can often be enough to stop you eating anything else. Nothing tastes good after brushing your teeth! Don’t be tempted to use chewing gum, the act of chewing and not swallowing anything can cause bloating and make you feel hungrier. Also, the sweeteners in can cause gastric issues in many people.
Listen to your cravings;if you are craving something salty, it could be a sign that you’re lacking salt in your diet. If that’s the case, try adding a little salt to your food rather than relying on salted snacks.
Try a healthy substitute; try being prepared by having healthy alternatives to hand.
If you crave ice cream, make some “nice cream” by keeping chopped up (skinless) bananas in the freezer. Pop the banana into a food processor/blender with a little nut butter or cocoa powder and whizz to make a creamy healthy treat
If you crave crisps or something crunchy try this great recipe for roasted chickpeas; https://www.dropit21.com/recipe/roasted-chickpeas-thyme/
Ensure you are adequately hydrated; aim for 2-3 litres of water per day, minimum. Often when we’re thirsty we confuse signals from our body for hunger.
Exercise; give yourself a little distraction by getting your heart pumping with a workout. Don’t underestimate the power of a walk to clear your head!
Do something relaxing; On the opposite end of the scale, stress has been shown to increase cravings, taking a couple of minutes to stretch, meditate, or just chill out may help you conquer the craving.
Try not to restrict yourself for too long;Remember that being on a restrictive diet is very difficult to keep up with in the long term. The key is moderation. Having a little of what you fancy every so often can really help to keep you on track. It’s what you do more often, that counts.