We have all been in that dreadful situation of constantly thinking about the wrong types of food at the wrong times. As you try to get healthy by eating kale and quinoa salads, the idea of a nice big helping of ice cream or a juicy burger just won’t leave your mind. You try and power through and ignore it, but it just won’t go away. What do you do? Your healthy food might be good for you, but it’s not satisfying you.
Sometimes it might be best to give in just a bit to your cravings. They could be brought on by other things that have nothing to do with food at all. Everyone goes through different challenges throughout their day and that has an effect on the cravings that they have. There are healthy options that people can indulge in when trying to satisfy their cravings so they don’t have to resort to unhealthy foods.
When people are craving sugar, it could be related to feeling down about themselves. If you are having a rough day when nothing seems to be going right, having a big sugary milkshake or favorite piece of candy is all that you want.
“Feel good foods” generally tend to be unhealthy. Almost none of them are good for someone trying to have a healthy diet. Simple options like fruits can be really helpful! Instead of having a big bag of candy, try having something like strawberries or pineapples. The natural sugars within the fruits will satisfy the need to have sweets, and the high fiber counts will avoid those hard crashes after a strong sugar rush.
Salt cravings can be brought on by just simply being hungry, lack of sleep, or having an electrolyte imbalance. Your body also craves salt when it feels that it isn’t getting the usual amount that it normally gets. Salt is an important part of how the body functions, so the cravings are telling you that you need more to meet the daily amount that it usually gets. The best way to combat this is to slowly reduce the amount of salt in your diet.
The healthy amount of salt intake that a person needs is roughly 1500mg of salt a day. Instead of using regular table salt, which has been highly processed, try using more natural salt like pink Himalayan salt when cooking food. You can also try adding a different variety of herbs and spices to give more flavor to your food rather than just pouring extra salt in it. Eating more mineral rich foods like sushi could also combat these cravings.
Fried Food Cravings
Nothing is better than fried greasy foods after a long night of partying or long nights of work. Cravings of fried foods stems from a mix of lack of sleep and a lack of healthy fats. It also comes from your body being used to having those fried foods on a regular basis. The more you ate them in your past, the more your body craves it when it stops getting it.
Instead of stopping at McDonalds and getting a big bag of nuggets and fries, trying having something like avocados, nuts, and a bit of olive oil. These foods are really high in healthy fats and allows your body to receive it without all the extra saturated fats, salt, and sugars.
There are times when some people just get the urge to eat a big piece of red meat. Sometimes, having a juicy steak or a burger is the only thing that anybody can think about. This is your body’s way of telling you that you’re having an iron deficiency.
Instead of rushing to the nearest steakhouse and getting a huge T-bone steak, try having some spinach. Spinach is filled with iron and many other things that are good for you. Tofu, beans, pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate will also go a long way to help conquer those cravings.
Your body needs iron to produce energy. If you are constantly feeling tired even though you made sure to get a good 8 hours of sleep, snacking on pumpkin seeds, or a few squares of dark chocolate will do the trick!
Who doesn’t love the free bread and butter that restaurants give you, pizza delivery, or a huge helping of pasta? Answer: people who are trying to lower their daily carb intake! Carbs are one of the hardest things to avoid when on a diet. These cravings generally arise when your body feels that it isn’t being satisfied enough with your new diet.
The best way to combat these cravings is actually by eating small amounts of carbs throughout the day. Instead of having one big helping of pasta, try having a small bowl of oatmeal in the morning. Snacking on nuts and other real whole foods throughout the day will also help. Keeping your body fueled and energized is really the only way to curb your carb appetite.
Final Thoughts on Beating Your Cravings
Cravings come up for a multitude of reasons. Whether you are having a rough day and need a bunch of sugars to feel better, or your body just responding to a different diet. Beating these cravings is a lot easier and simpler than people expect. Balancing your diet with whole foods and non processed foods is key. Understanding why your body is caving certain things is also key. Fruits, vegetables, and nuts are going to be your best friends during these trying times so make you’re stocked up on them so you can quickly satisfy your needs at any time.