Food cravings affect us all. No matter what lifestyle you lead, or what diet you follow, or whether you’re pregnant or not, you’re going to crave something every now and then. But when these cravings become constant, or they start to interrupt your attempts to lead a healthy lifestyle, something needs to be done.
Not only could this be a sign of an issue (and speaking to a doctor is never a bad thing) but it could also lead you down a path of bad habits. But to kick those before they even get started, we need to know the best ways to deal with cravings in the moment, aside from giving into them and letting them rule us.
Give it 20 Minutes
This is the best thing to try before you do anything else. If you’ve just eaten, but you’re still craving a bit more, give it 20 minutes and see if you feel the same. By taking this time, you allow your body to digest and break down the food you’ve just consumed, meaning it gets into your system and takes away those hunger pangs and signals.
It could be a craving, or it could be that you’re actually hungry and need more. But most people find that 20 minutes later they don’t actually want to eat anything else. However, if you do, either get yourself a second portion (smaller this time), or move onto the steps below.
Replace Carbs with Protein
If you’re trying to cut back on carbs right now, you need to replace the carbs you would have eaten with something that’s better for you but equally as filling. And that’s where protein steps in. A good hit of protein is so good for your system; it helps you to heal and get stronger, and it fills the stomach up like no other.
Tweak Recipes to Suit You
This is one for those people who can’t eat something because their body doesn’t agree with it. We all feel your pain! Because if you’ve got an intolerance, but you still remember the wonderful taste of something that had milk or cheese or chocolate in it, satisfying that craving is going to be hard!
However, you can do it. You just need to tweak your favorite recipes to suit you. Say you’re gluten free but you love chocolate cake and miss being able to have a slice – this recipe for gluten free Triple Chocolate Layer Cake is something you should think about giving a try. You can beat the craving by still indulging in it sometimes, but it’s nowhere near as bad for you as it used to be!
Fill Your Plate
If you’ve got a full plate in front of you, you’re not going to be tempted to snack later on! You’ll be able to fill up now, with all the best nutrients for your body, and you’ll feel full and satisfied for a longer period of time.
Your brain won’t have time to make you feel cravings when it’s working through this pile of goodness! So don’t attempt to cut down your portions too much here. Make sure there’s a good representation of all the food groups on your plate, including fats and carbs alongside your veggies and protein.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
This is the perfect rule for supermarket shopping. If you don’t buy it now, you can’t eat it when you get home, and soon you’ll forget all about the cravings you’d usually be tempted to give into. Not only does this help you stick to a diet or remove a bad source from your life, but it’s also much, much cheaper on your weekly budget!
Similarly, if you put certain foods you don’t want to eat too much behind a cupboard door, or to the back of the fridge, you’re less likely to reach for them. When something is out of sight, we’re not thinking about it. And when you don’t have an environmental cue right in front of you, it’s easier to forget about the craving in question!
Cravings aren’t bad by nature, but they’re not something you should ignore, try to power through, or simply give into either. A little bit of willower goes a long way, but if you can make beating them easier for yourself, absolutely do so! Use the tips above to help out, and always speak to someone if you’re getting worried about how often you want a certain food.