Ever had an overwhelming craving for something that you are trying to avoid? When you convince yourself you are hungry, yet dismiss the idea of reaching for an apple when you could be munching on some cake? I know I have!
Food cravings can be really challenging to overcome, especially when we have let our energy levels become depleted so that we need to feed ourselves some fuel, stat!
Enjoying a treat every now and then is good for your soul! However giving in to your cravings too often can really set you back on your path to achieving your fitness goals. So here are my top tips to help you conquer your cravings so that you can make the healthy food choices that you want.
Eat Breakfast - Starting your day off with a healthy meal, complete with all the essential nutrients you might need to get you up and going, is the perfect way to lay the foundation for your day ahead. A coffee might be all you feel like, however the energy from the caffeine will not leave you feeling satisfied or appropriately fuelled for the day ahead and will likely have you reaching for whatever is convenient to munch on as soon as it wears off. If you have sufficiently fuelled yourself at breakfast time, you are less likely to be craving foods when you are out and about.
Go Low GI - Low GI foods have a slow energy release into your body so that you continue to feel satisfied for longer. Enjoying low GI foods with each meal will help reduce the amount of food cravings you experience in between.
Eat Less, More Often - I find that my body works best when I eat 4-5 small meals per day instead of the typical three large meals. Why? Because I get all the fuel and energy needed to get me through to my next meal time, without over loading my body with food that needs to be digested. I am less likely to be overwhelmed by food cravings, because there is less time between each meal.
Keep Hydrated - Often (but of course not always!) when we have a craving for food we are actually craving water. Keeping yourself hydrated is not only important to help keep the many systems of your body flowing well; it also helps reduce the amount of stomach bile that builds up making us feel hungry.
Don’t Forget Your Fats - Good fats not only provide us with essential nutrients that support healthy heart, brain and nervous system function, they are also integral to the absorption of many other essential nutrients. The other great thing about good fats? They make us feel fuller for longer, curbing those cravings, and they taste delicious!
Pack In Your Protein - Protein is an essential nutrient for many reasons, but in particular it is excellent for helping you feel satisfied for longer. Try having a healthy protein option with each of your meals to help fend off an attack of the cravings!