So I like to think that I’m a pretty normal chick. I wake up with crazy hair, get overly excited when I hear mail hitting the bottom of my mailbox (wait… is that normal?), I let laundry pile up until it turns sentient and I get food cravings. Sometimes it’s for something salty, sometimes it’s for something sweet and sometimes I can’t damn well decide between the two and I’m pretty sure that’s why things like “salted caramels” came into existence.
Last week I had a MASSIVE sugar craving that came on every day for three days. I mean, this craving was over the frickin’ TOP! I wanted to eat ALL THE SUGAR IN THE WORLD! I have no idea what sparked it, my pretend smart theory is that it’s because I had just started my new nutrition plan which called for me to cut back a tiny bit on my carbs (and the right carbs give us the right sugar to our body) but I honestly have no clue. Regardless, I did a pretty good job of keeping it at bay until Wednesday when I caved and bought some chocolate and it hasn’t come back since!
But there are a LOT of ways you can combat a craving without eating the world’s production of Doritos or Clodhoppers and feeling a salty/sugary hangover the next day.
Create Healthy Alternatives
Be realistic and understand that cravings are natural and that they happen to every single one of us. You can be better prepared for this by having go-to healthy snack alternatives at the ready. Try making kale chips for your salty cravings and something like these awesome macaroons and stick them in the freezer. Make sure you pre-portion all of these into little baggies so you don’t overindulge (yes, you can overindulge on healthy things). Or you could go to the basics like fruit and almonds but let’s be real here, that ain’t gonna happen! Pay attention to trigger foods though, if you binge on ANYTHING sweet or salty this may not be your best bet!
Did you know that most cravings will go away in about twenty minutes? When you get a craving, do something that needs doing like the dishes, change the lightbulbs you’ve been putting off or go for a walk instead. By the time you’re done the craving will probably be gone. Sometimes we get cravings when we’re actually just bored so this is a great way to step away from the kitchen!
Take A Tea Break
The first day last week when I had my sugar craving I decided to brew up a sweet tea instead. The sweet flavour hitting my tongue worked like a charm without the added calories! Create a little supply of yummy go-to teas!
Our bodies actually don’t know the difference between thirst and hunger so what you think is a craving just may be your body’s way of saying it’s thirsty. Have a glass or two of water and wait twenty minutes to see if it’s still there.
Yep, I said it! Sometimes ya just gotta give in to the craving! It doesn’t mean you’re weak or you’ve failed in the least, it just means you’re human! The trick to doing this smartly is to allow yourself a SMALL treat – don’t buy a large bag of chips or a full chocolate bar. Keep it to a small bag and a mini-bar. If you can’t, see if you can share with someone else so you don’t go overboard, then, get back to your life! Don’t beat yourself up, keep it small, track it and get back on track! This is what I ultimately did last week, I indulged a bit and then got right back on track without having to suffer any consequences!
A healthy lifestyle includes cravings but if you’re not prepared for them you can quickly spiral downwards into binge eating so be smart, be prepared, don’t beat yourself up over it and stay the course!
Image courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net