Cravings are like a really hot booty-call. They strike late at night, when you’re feeling bored, lonely and vulnerable. They tempt you. You torture yourself, eventually cave in, and end up regretting them and feeling shitty after.
What is a craving really? And why do they strike so much harder when you’re trying to be “good?” When trying to eat healthier we tend to put certain foods on a naughty list. This just makes us want them even more! All people have emotional and psychological food addictions that hardwire us to give into temptation.
We need to look at the how much nutrition is in our food and discover the true causes of our cravings. Are we lacking certain vitamins and minerals? Have we been eating enough fruits and veggies? Have we been nourishing our bodies the best we can to thrive on a day to day basis? Sometimes nutritional deficiencies or food intolerances can even create our longing for certain foods.
How to Curb a Craving:
- Avoid Triggers. This seems like common sense. Don’t keep it in the house. Out of sight, out of mind. This is like deleting your ex on Facebook, unfollowing their Instagram and blocking their number. If you know that it’s not a good idea to buy candies because they make you feel awful after, don’t buy them. Get some heart healthy dark chocolate instead.
- Spot Hunger Imposters. Are you hungry? Sometimes we feel like we want to eat but it’s really due to an emotional issue, like being upset, or a personal issue, like stress, or often out of boredom. Drink some water. Being thirsty gives off the same mental queues as being hungry. Journaling can help you deal with your emotions much better than a giving into a craving can.
- Distract Yourself. Take a minute to recognize what your hunger means. Is there something missing from your diet? Are you really hungry? Try going for a walk, tidying your room or calling a friend. Make some tea and curl up with a nice book. Pamper yourself and take time to unwind and relax.
Remember, you have the power. You’re the only person who decides what goes into your body. What I like to do when I’m experiencing strong cravings, is make a healthier version of whatever I’m craving.
Another option is to give in, have a single portion, savor it and move on. Accept you ate it, and forget about it. No foods should ever be off limits.
Remember, the key to healthy living is balance.
Bailey Brown is a Toronto based fitness instructor and nutrition expert. Bailey is currently studying holistic nutrition at he Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and specializes in teaching ballet barre, kickboxing and bikini bootcamp fitness. Hobbies and interests include blogging at www.baileybrown.ca, baking gluten-free vegan treats, kale smoothies, travel and instagramming post-workout selfies at @bodybybailey.