How to Defeat Food Cravings
Are you constantly struggling with your food cravings? Do you enjoy sweets or salty treats late at night? How many times have you indulged, only to feel guilty the moment after you thought you were rewarding yourself?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions I get asked during every (and I mean EVERY) nutrition consultation I perform with someone. How in the world do you resist your sweet tooth, urge to binge or at least overeat to some amount? Also, do I still experience these cravings after being in the health industry for close to 8 years now? The short answer is...YES! Yes, I still get the urge to overeat, go back for seconds, grab those chips or go out late at night to grab a frozen yogurt dish. It also doesn't help that I married into an Italian & Argentine family that loves to serve their pastas, steaks, spanish rice and spanish pastries at every family dinner. Needless to say, I do indeed experience the same mental battles as you do! My answer for you might actually shock you ;)
Now, if you simply type into your search bar, "how to defeat food cravings," almost a million results will appear that will lead to various health articles that ultimately, tell you the EXACT SAME THING...
-Drink More Water
-Eat More Protein
-Eat Your Meals Slowly
-Take 'X' Supplement
-Don't Go Hungry
-Don't Be Hungry While Food Shopping
Before we continue, I definitely do agree with the majority of these statements. They are correct and may help you along your journey. But, I am also a realist! If someone is just starting out on their weight loss journey and trying to do too much, too soon and take on the world (which we discussed in last week's blog-here) this is a recipe for disaster without the appropriate accountability groups in place. The majority of what I see over and over again are individuals that, once again, want to change EVERY aspect of their lives and try to transform their eating habits overnight. Quite simply...the human body doesn't work like that. If you want to learn more about why that is, I urge you to visit last week's blog.
If there is one thing to take away from all of this, it is that a small treat will not destroy your physique or your goals! I am a loud advocate of the 80/20, or sometimes it's the 70/30 rule when you are having a stressful week, of eating respectfully 80% of the time with whole & nutrient rich foods, while enjoying yourself the other 20% of the time throughout the day. Obviously, if you are just starting out, these numbers might fluctuate a tad bit but the key is to keep it healthy the majority of the time. It's simple math...
If you have 3 healthy meals per day with 1 small treat to get your craving by (for me it's a few M&M's) and you do this every day. By the end of the month, you will have had over 90 healthy meals with a very low amount of sweets or other "junk" food through that entire time. Do you honestly believe that this will destroy your goals when the formula is broken down like this? Why beat yourself up over having a few chips? If you are honest with yourself and stop after just a few ;) Now, obviously this excludes the serious fitness athletes that are doing competitions and need their body fat to be extremely low but this article isn't for them, it is for those every day individuals that are just trying to be healthy!
Overall, the point of this blog isn't to repeat the same suggestions that have been made over and over again. Yes, they do work and I do approve of you drinking more water, planning your meals and cutting yourself off from seconds, using smaller plates, and especially eating more nutrient rich food because over time, if we fuel our bodies with the vitamins and minerals the human body wants, we will experience less cravings since the body doesn't need the processed and artificial sweets to operate on a day to day basis. Always remember, this transformation will not happen overnight. It took time to get to where you are currently and it will take time to get to where you desire to be. But, if the goal is to eat and drink a bit healthier every single day while remembering your goals and to WHY you are doing what you are doing, OVER TIME the human body changes to what it naturally wants to be and the less time you will spend desiring the chips or ice cream. At the end of the day, you have to reflect back and realize how far you've come and that this is a LIFESTYLE change, not a temporary diet that you can just quit later. This is your body and you only get one, so why not treat it with some respect?!
"You Never Truly Understand How Bad You Felt Until You Start Feeling Good."
Until Next Time,
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