Sometimes chocolate (or chips, or cookies, or candy…) just seems to speak to you. It whispers at first, calling to you from the pantry, coaxing you to come break off a piece. If you try to ignore it, a craving can be even more insistent. Suddenly, it’s all you can think about, and before you know it you’re standing in front of the pantry polishing off the entire bar… oops. Will you ever be able to stop these cravings?
The reality is, eating healthy isn’t always easy. When you’re trying to cut back on sweets, processed carbohydrates, and other junk food that doesn’t support your healthy living goals, it’s completely normal to have cravings. Cutting out sugar can make your body go through a “withdrawal” period- a time when cravings, headaches, irritability, fatigue, and other symptoms can pop up and mess with your game plan. Stay strong.
Read on for 7 ways to Stop Cravings and Keep You on Track:
1. Chew gum.
Gum cleanses your palate and keeps your mouth busy. Plus, if you regularly chew gum or brush your teeth after a meal, it can become an unconscious signal that it’s time to stop eating.
2. Brew a cup of tea.
Drinking tea is a great complement to eating healthy since herbal teas contain essential nutrients and minerals that promote everything from better sleep, improved digestion, and improved mood. Plus, a delicious cup of tea after every meal can become a rewarding and pleasant ritual, and is an excellent replacement for alcohol or dessert.
3. Hop on your favorite healthy living blog.
A little inspiration goes a long way! If you’re craving something that isn’t in line with your nutrition goals, read through your favorite health blog, scroll through some fitness-inspired Instagram accounts, or text a like-minded friend to get the inspiration you need to help you stay focused.
4. Drink water.
Having a craving doesn’t usually mean you’re hungry–but it could very often say that you’re thirsty. Staying hydrated is critical for keeping your digestion, metabolism, and all major body systems running smoothly–not to mention it’s hugely helpful when it comes to fat loss! Have a water bottle close by at all times, and keep chugging–especially when those cravings start.
5. Go for a walk.
Exercise is a great way to transform your craving positively into a healthy living action. Hit the gym, walk your dog, or even get down and do a few rounds of sit-ups and push-ups. Anything to get your mind out of the kitchen and back on your healthy living goals.
6. Toss the temptation.
Willpower is an ever-changing thing: it can be weaker when you’re stressed, tired, anxious, or sick. Even if you can resist the siren song of those chips most days, one flat tire or sick kid could make them irresistible another day. Whenever possible, don’t keep temptation around the house. As physical therapist and fitness expert, Dr. Kelly Starrett once said, “The best self-defense–don’t be there.”
7. Enjoy the temptation.
We’re human, which means we are (perfectly) imperfect. Sometimes, you may give in to temptation–and you know what? That’s ok. Every now and then, the best thing you can do is enjoy a special treat–with moderation, with balance, and without the guilt-trip afterward! Remember that life is meant to be enjoyed and that no diet should be so restrictive that it prevents you from enjoying things you love.
Do you have any other tips to stop cravings? Share in the comments below!