People with all of the discipline in the world can sometimes be out-powered by their cravings. This is why it is important to understand why you crave certain foods and what you can do to prevent them or manage them when they do occur. This will help set you up for a more successful journey to optimal health and wellness.
Here are 3 major ways to prevent cravings
If your body is in a dehydrated state you could be craving food when you’re not hungry, especially sweets. How can you tell if you’re dehydrated? Very simply, if your urine is yellow you’re on your way to dehydration. The clearer it is the more hydrated you are. Drink about half of your body weight in ounces every day and more if you workout hard and sweat a lot. Therefore, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should be drinking about 100 ounces of water daily.
Balance out your gut flora
In our guts we have good and bad bacteria, both of which we need, but the balance of the two dictates the health of our digestive tract. With years of eating processed foods, foods filled with sugars and foods that immediately turn into sugar when we start to digest them like breads, cookies, and alcohol, the bad bacteria start to overcome the good bacteria. When this imbalance occurs, sweet cravings ensue. This is because those bad bacteria literally feed off of sugar.
To start, remove most processed sugars from your diet. Then start to add fermented foods to replace probiotics, healthy bacteria. These foods include tempeh, miso, sauerkraut, pickled veggies, kefir, and Greek yogurt. Figure out what sensation you are craving and find a healthier option.
Are you craving crunchy foods?
Maybe you are stressed and could use another outlet? Or try chewing on foods like celery or baby carrots versus chips or pretzels to get that crunchy sensation.
Are you craving sweet foods?
Cookies, ice cream and candy are filled with sugar and will send your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride. Instead, eat fruit filled with fiber to slow down the insulin response. Berries are a great option because of their low glycemic properties. You can also try eating roasted root veggies, like sweet potatoes or carrots and sprinkling them with cinnamon to bring out their sweet flavor. Sometimes having a cup of herbal tea with a spoonful of raw honey is sweet enough to do the trick as well.
Are you craving salty foods?
Processed chips and salty junk foods are loaded with sodium, unhealthy fats and artificial colorings. Kale chips are a great alternative and you control the salt that goes on them. Seaweed snacks are another great option and they also have a healthy dose of thyroid helping iodine.