Are you ready to crack the code to your cravings?!
In a recent survey I conducted with busy babes just like you, over 80% admitted that cravings were the second biggest hurdle for them when trying to eat a healthier diet.
For years I struggled with cravings, for me they were mostly the 3pm slump and evening dessert treat. I used to beat myself up if i gave in to them, or resist until I would binge on a tub of ice-cream, block of chocolate or whatever else I could get my hands on…sound familiar?
After studying and learning the real reasons our bodies crave different foods I quickly came to realise that cravings are nothing to be ashamed of and nor should you ignore them. Our bodies crave foods and liquids to balance our internal nutrient deficiencies. In simple terms if your body has too much of one thing it can crave the opposite to balance it out.
Often when we crave it is a sign that we are dehydrated, which is one of the most common reasons for hunger. If your body is dehydrated it will send signals to your brain to let you know it needs nutrients (our bodies are smarter than we think), often we mistake this for food and sugar cravings. We also have to factor in that todays junk food is designed scientifically to get us addicted. Added sugars, preservatives and MSG are all designed to create you wanting more.
Below are my top tips for cracking the code on your cravings:
- Switch all refined sugars in your diet to natural sugars, these are not scientifically designed to get you addicted. They will still raise your blood sugar levels and give you a spike in energy (so always keep them to a minimum) but unlike refined “fake” foods they also offer fibre and nutrients to keep you satisfied. Ever wondered why you don’t binge on a huge bowl of fruit?
- If your craving sweets try increasing the amount of root vegetables in your diet such as carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin. This will make your meals more satisfying and should curb your sweet cravings.
- If your craving ice-cream and dairy, this can be caused by eating too many hot foods. Think spices, chilli and warm cooked meals. Try balancing these out by adding fresh salads and raw vegetable sticks to some of your meals or as your snacks. If you really need something cold try freezing some of your favourite fruits and throw them in the food processor to create your own homemade fruit sorbet…YUM!
- Got a craving for the crunch? Biscuits, pretzels and the like. You may be over eating or drinking unnecessary liquids. Add in some crunchy raw vegetable sticks, chopped cabbage and sweet potato chips and see if this curbs the craving.
- Chocoholic… yep thats me. If I eat it I crave it like crazy, I also crave it before my monthly cycle. This can be due to the high magnesium and iron levels in cacao. Simple fix make your own healthy chocolate. Jump over to the IN2U Facebook page for how to make raw, healthy, guilt free chocolates in under 15 minutes. That’s less time than it takes you to drive to the supermarket!
As you can see there are so many simple signals our bodies give us via cravings. Effectively it’s your bodies way of communicating with you. Never deprive yourself of what your body is asking for BUT always opt for healthy alternatives. I recommend over the next week to write down what your eating and when you crave foods and what types of foods. This will help you start to be conscious of what your body is trying to tell you.
If you have any questions about your cravings, post in the comments section below. If you know of a friend who struggles with cravings be sure to send them the link to this post so we can all stop feeling crazy around food and make sense of what our bodies are telling us. I would love to hear of what ways you are curbing your cravings in the comments below. Feel free to share those that have and haven’t worked for you. I will also offer free health coaching advice in response to your questions, to get you kick started in understanding the signals your body is sending you.
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