Whether you’re a chocolate person, a salty chips person, or a mix of savory and sweet, cravings affect each and every one of us. Ironically, though, the most frustrating part of cravings isn’t the nagging feeling that comes up when we least expect it. It’s the way these cravings can hinder our performance, keep us from our goals, and leave us feeling frustrated and unsatisfied—physically and mentally.
You might find yourself battling nagging sugar cravings at night, or reaching for something savory in the afternoon. You might be an avid coffee drinker, or grab that extra piece of cake to ‘treat yourself.’ Cravings hit us in different ways, but we can’t let them dictate (and derail) our progress.Here are four small ways to fight your cravings (for good).
1. Fill your cabinets with healthy alternatives.
Hands down, the easiest way to keep yourself from having (and succumbing to) cravings is to remove the option altogether. Do you reach for a bowl of ice cream after dinner? A bag of chips with your lunch? It’s as simple as not buying those tempting items anymore. Or, instead, swapping out those mini ice cream tubs for frozen yogurt and those chips for salted nuts—something that will satisfy you in a healthy way.
2. Eat periodically so you’re never starving.
Cravings often stem from being hungry (more hungry than usual). When you’re over-hungry, your body compensates by craving the wrong things because it’s desperate for sustenance! An easy way to reduce your cravings is to give your body what it needs when it needs it. This, of course, being carbohydrates, good fats, fruits and vegetables, etc.
That balance of foods is important because too much of one thing can actually be unhealthy. Remember moderating, and remember that multiple snacks throughout the day is infinitely better than one giant meal.
3. Opt for less processed foods whenever possible.
The less processed your food, the better for you. Processed foods can be made with artificial sweeteners and other genetically modified substances that can actually make you crave more. If you can opt for healthy, natural (and when possible, organic!) options, then you’ll reduce your body’s need to crave the wrong things.
4. Cut as much sugar as possible.
Sugar is addictive. Make sure you’re watching your sugar intake! Even if you think it might be harmless, like a few scoops of sugar in your coffee, for example, it can actually be creating negative habits that will be bad to break cravings from! Whenever possible, opt for natural sugar over artificial sweeteners, spices (like cinnamon) instead, or none at all!