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We all have a pretty good idea of what we “should” and “should not” eat in your fitness journey. But there are times when our minds trick us into thinking that we absolutely NEED to eat this or that. It is absolutely OK to give in to cravings every now and then, but when they become constant, it can be unhealthy. Today, we’re going to explore a few tips that will show you how to get ahead of your cravings, so that YOU are in control.
1) Plan your meals in advance.
Planning your meals is a great way to avoid cravings for several reasons. First, if you plan your meals in advance, when hunger strikes, you won’t be tempted to eat or cook the quickest and easiest thing available in your pantry, which usually tends to be a less healthy option.
Second, when you plan your meals, you can set up the meal to fulfill all of your nutritional needs (Carbs, Protein and Fat), so that your body won’t ask for more later on in the day.
Last but not least, planning your own meals allows you to see how much you're actually eating and prevents you from overeating at restaurants, since the portions they offer tend to be bigger than the portion you need.
2) Consume plenty of fiber.
Fiber is a great addition to any diet, since it has countless benefits. But what is fiber, exactly? Fiber is a type of Carbohydrate that the body can’t fully digest - most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules called glucose, however, fiber cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, and instead it passes through the body undigested.
At first, you’d think eating something the body can’t digest is not ideal but the benefits are undeniable:
- Promotes healthy bowel movements
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Helps control blood sugar levels
- Aids in controlling cravings
You can find fiber in many foods such as beans, avocados, berries, whole grains and nuts.
3) Know your triggers and keep healthy alternatives around.
It is alright to eat all your favorite foods! The only problem is when there is too much consumption of certain foods.
If you have a sweet tooth, your first thought might be to devour that package of gummies in your pantry. Instead, try keeping a small quantity of your trigger foods in the house, and have healthy swaps on hand.
For example, if you like chocolate, try getting 80% cocoa dark chocolate. It’s still chocolate, but it has a lot less sugar in it. You can even try dehydrated fruits! Craving ice cream? Try frozen banana mash instead. Your options are unlimited!
4) Drink plenty of water.
Did you know that most times you get that feeling that you NEED to eat, you are actually just thirsty?
The reason for this is that when your body is dehydrated, it sends confusing signals to your brain, which leads it to believe that you’re still hungry, even if you have just finished a big meal.
So take a break every now and then to drink a cup or two of water. The ideal is to take half your body weight, and drink that amount in ounces of water. So, for a person weighing 176 pounds, the ideal daily water intake is 88 oz.
5) Chew gum while watching movies.
Most times, when we’re watching a movie or TV-show, we feel the need to chew on something. Most people go for popcorn, M&Ms, chips - the tasty, yet not totally nutritious foods.
Instead, try chewing some gum. It’ll keep your mouth and brain entertained and it won’t do as much harm as an entire bag of popcorn or chips. There are lots of chewing gums to choose from, and if you need a recommendation, ask our Director of Affiliate Growth Ed Turney what his favorite gum is.
6) Get enough sleep.
Ever noticed that you feel hungrier or have a lot more cravings after a poor night’s sleep? It’s not your imagination - there is a connection between sleep and hunger.
In fact, studies show that even a single night of sleep deprivation alters the levels of your hunger and appetite hormones, leading to increased hunger. It also affects your overall mood. So be sure to get enough Zs - ideally between 6 to 8 hours, each night.
Follow these 6 steps and you are one step closer to crushing those cravings! If those steps aren’t enough, you can try to incorporate Rhodiola and Ashwagandha to your diet, as these are natural ingredients that help get those cravings under control and improve your digestive system at the same time.
Awesome Read and advice! … I will start my journey with my meal preps and delicious Protein (Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream 😋… to be continued…