10 Fool-Proof Tips for Crushing Any Kind of CravingArticle posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Cravings are the worst! No matter how hard we try to deny them, sometimes it’s way too easy to succumb to the junk food traps. The good news is, if you make healthy shopping and eating habits part of your regular routine, you will be less likely to slide into bad patterns that may derail your healthy intentions. So incorporate these tips to crush those pesky cravings:
1. Focus on nutrient-dense food.
One of the keys to avoiding junk food is to stay satisfied by eating other healthy and filling foods. Think about it: If you weren’t hungry, you’d probably be less inclined to go crazy on sweets. So if you’re feeling tempted by treats, first be sure to reach for nutrient-dense foods, like fresh veggies, lean meats and complex carbs that are likely to fill you up without filling you out. By the time you’re done munching on that apple and peanut butter, you may have already forgotten about that candy bar.
2. Keep a food journal.
This is a crucial habit for those who can’t quite pinpoint where they go wrong with their diet. If you record what you consume, you can recognize the patterns that lead you to make the not-so-good food choices that keep your weight loss stagnant. Acknowledging the patterns is the first step on the road to improving them. Keep a written food diary, or check out NuMi, Nutrisystem’s free online tracking tool that makes it easy for you to log your food and water intake, physical activity and weight loss progress.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Dehydration often presents itself as hunger, which can lead us to reach for a snack instead of a glass of water. To prevent this trap, eat foods with a high water content and set a daily water intake goal to try to hit each day.
4. Ditch the processed food.
Processed food is notorious for having a high salt content and oftentimes, monosodium glutamate (MSG), a pesky additive used to enhance the flavor of food that comes with a highly addictive side affect (Check out this article on four food ingredients you should eliminate from your diet today). So ditch the processed food for the fresh food to fight the cravings. Good news for Nutrisystem customers: Nutrisystem foods are MSG-free. Plus, all of the Nutrisystem programs fall within the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) recommendation for the general adult population—2,300 milligrams or less of sodium daily.
5. Focus on healthy stress relievers.
Food can sometimes mean comfort for many of us. So instead of stress eating, create healthy habits to unwind and decompress that don’t involve food, such as meditation, spending time outside or listening to music. Feel a stress-eating session coming on? Call an old friend or tackle some errands you’ve been meaning to do. Sometimes we just need a distraction.
6. Remove temptation from the pantry.
If it’s already in the house, it will be that much easier to rationalize your way right into a binge session. So if ice cream whispers to you every night after dinner, don’t buy it. If you grab handfuls of chips when you arrive home famished from work, take them out of the equation and replace them with healthier snack choices.
7. Don’t wait to eat till you are starving.
If you wait till your body is in desperate need of nourishment you usually don’t have the energy or will to prepare or choose the nutrients your body actually needs. Instead, we usually reach for the quickest fix regardless of calories or nutrition. When you plan, prepare and listen to your body when it’s hungry, you will stay ahead of the blood sugar crashes and rash decisions.
Canned food usually has a high sodium content but many brands offer low-sodium alternatives. Lowering your salt intake will keep you from constantly craving it.
9. Find a healthier alternative.
There are always healthier alternatives to the unhealthy calorie traps out there. For those on the Nutrisystem plan, we have many tasty treats (think pizza, pasta, ice cream, chocolate!) that still fit into a balanced diet. Identify your junk food weakness and do some basic research to find healthy alternatives.
10. Don’t deprive.
Let yourself indulge responsibly and then get right back on track. This way, you won’t focus on deprivation, instead you’ll enjoy everything in moderation.