Don’t Let Your Food Cravings Get Lost in Translation
You’re trying so hard to follow a healthy diet, and you do well most of the time however, there are times when food cravings seem to take over your entire rational being! There is a voice in your head trying to convince you that a apple turnover would be so good right now, one slice of pizza, a chocolate bar, a mocha latte, a thick juicy steak, chips! Yikes! How do you make the cravings stop???
Food cravings are our body’s way of telling us what it needs. Sometimes it whispers to us, sometimes it has to turn up the volume to be heard! If we listen and respond, oftentimes the craving will subside. Hold on there! I do not mean for you to indulge in that apple turnover or mocha latte, but rather take a moment to figure out the craving and give your body what it really needs. As our bodies speak its needs, sometimes it isn’t clear on the type of food. Our minds interpret the needs for us, and sometimes healthy versions get lost in translation! Understanding why we are having the cravings can help us to choose a healthier option.
Our bodies do not necessarily crave certain foods, but rather certain nutrients. If you are craving chocolate, you may be deficient in magnesium. Reach for a handful of raw nuts or a banana, or a salad with spinach and avocado.
If you are craving chips or peanut butter, your body may be asking for more sodium. We want to be careful and aim for less than 2300mg of sodium per day according to the FDA. It may not even be salt you are craving as much as your body is just asking for more minerals. You could also be dehydrated. Try drinking a full 8 oz of water first, and if you are still craving a salty food, try munching on some kale chips, or pickles, or tuna fish.
If you are craving fatty foods you may be deficient in calcium. Try eating a cup of full fat Greek yogurt, or enjoy a snack of cheese and fruit.
If you have an insatiable desire for bread you may want to increase your nitrogen. Eat a food high in protein such as fish, meat, or a handful of nuts.
These are great ideas for our strong physiological food cravings, but how can we help to keep them at bay in the first place?
1- Stay hydrated. Drinking water throughout the day can help us feel fuller and also curb salty cravings.
2- Don’t skip meals. If you go too long without eating your blood sugar may drop and lead to cravings.
3-Add some type of protein to each meal and snack. Protein helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and keep us fuller longer.
4- Increase your fiber. Add some beans, nuts, and more fruits and veggies to your daily diet.
What if none of these ideas sound appealing and nothing will satisfy us other than an apple turnover from the local bakery? Or the bag of kettle chips from the office vending machine? The craving could be stemming from an emotional impulse rather than a physiological need, or even a combination of both. Before reaching for the indulgence ask yourself “Am I tired?,” “Am I feeling stressed at this moment?,” “Am I bored?,” “Am I depressed or feeling lonely?” Emotional impulses can be very motivating and sometimes even harder to combat. If you feel this may be the underlying cause to your current craving, try one or all of the following first:
1- Change your scenery! Take a break from work. Go for a 10 min walk. Get outside.
2- Meditate! Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale through your mouth fully.
3- Brush and floss! A clean mouth will typically not crave anything but water.
4- Connect with someone! Call a friend or hug a loved one. It may just help both of you in more ways than one!
Hopefully some of these suggestions will help you get through those moments of struggle when you feel your cravings are interfering with your diet. The key is to understand “why” you are having the cravings and feed your body what it really needs, not what your mind is trying to tell you it wants.
By Fitmo Coach, Carol Keller
Do you look in the mirror and say “Who Am I?” Do you want to feel younger, confident, & have more energy? As a woman over 40, I understand the struggles that woman our age go through. I’ve been a diet and exercise coach for over 10 years and I want to help you get YOUR sexy back & put that confidence back in your strut!