Perhaps one of the biggest, and most difficult challenges to anybody’s fitness journey is unhealthy food cravings. Even the healthiest and most fit people in the world have them and it’s easy to see why. After all, junk food is made of stuff that is simply addictive – and like anything that is addicting, is hard to kick out of your system.
The good news is, there are ways to curb these bad cravings and develop an appetite for better, healthier food. Here’s how:
- Ask yourself: are you really hungry?
More often than not, the brain can fool your body into thinking that you are actually hungry. Oftentimes, it’s either just boredom or thirst. Before you march to the fridge or get a drive-thru takeout, ask yourself if you truly are hungry. It may also help to think back about when you took your last meal and then decide whether you should already be hungry or not.
Thirst is all too often mistaken for hunger and is a common cause of unhealthy snacking. Instead of jumping into eating mode, drink some water and see if the pangs go away. Too bored for water? Go for fruit infused water or better yet, sip on hot tea! Keep fruit fresh longer in one of these fruit savers. Sipping cold beverage takes time and can give you the feeling of fullness so it satisfies your stomach rumblings without actually filling it with garbage.
- Take a walk.
Scientists have found that walking for ten to fifteen minutes helps reduce food cravings – especially cravings for chocolate. Not only do you get a bit of cardio from the walk but you actually manage to (quite literally) walk away from your junk food cravings.
- Distract yourself.
A lot of our food cravings throughout the day are the result of boredom. When the brain is idle, it moves into thinking about the most pleasurable things to do; and more often than not, it points to the fridge. If you cannot take a walk and psyching yourself into kicking out the thought of food, distract yourself with some other activity. Read something (hopefully not a cookbook), talk to someone on the phone, or better yet: PLAY YOUR FAVORITE MOBILE GAMES!
- Keep a stack of healthy snack alternatives.
The word ‘snack’ has gotten a bad rap no thanks to popular unhealthy options (read: junk food). But foods like these ones prove that snacking is not all that bad if you put good things in instead of the greasy, salty, sugary ones we’re used to. Stock up on fruits, nuts, fat-free yogurts, and vegetables so you have grab-and-go snacks always at hand for when the nasty cravings kick in.
But perhaps the biggest advice to keeping healthy eating habits is to not be too hard on yourself. Introduce healthy food gradually as opposed to drastically throwing all the bad stuff out all at once. Replace bad foods in batches, starting with the ones that you can let go too easily to ease up the frustration. And once in a while, indulge yourself with a little bit of the bad stuff. The secret, after all, is to take things in moderation.
This article was written by blogger, Jason Greenhalgh.