It’s very possible a food craving is your body asking for something it needs. For example, if you’re craving salt, you may be dehydrated and actually need water (and salt). If you’re craving fatty foods, you could be low in omega 3s or 6s, which are essential fatty acids. Just hungry in general? You probably are, especially if you had a very active day. Commit to eating filling (high-fiber, high-protein) meals and snacks consistently and you’ll never reach a point where you’re ravenous and more likely to order the burger and fries.
However, what’s more likely the case, especially if you’ve been struggling with losing a few extra pounds and have a tendency to snack late at night, could be either stress or an addiction to sugar. (See here—research proves sugar is actually addicting.)
The best way to break that is by eliminating unnecessary junk foods. Sure, treating yourself or “cheating” every now and then is completely understandable, but if you’re in a habit of tapping into the sweet stuff, even if it’s a little, you could be working against yourself.
From my experience, once I stopped eating certain foods, the longer I went without eating them, the more I forgot about them. I began “craving” the foods that helped me work out harder and have more energy throughout the day. If you give me a chocolate chip cookie right now, I’ll be hungry again in like 20 minutes and want two chocolate chip cookies tomorrow. But because I don’t eat that stuff, I don’t want that stuff. I love my homemade breakfast sandwiches, my wild salmon with sweet potatoes and asparagus, my low-carb tacos, and my protein popsicles. This is the stuff I crave now. And every once in a while, if I work out really hard and crave pizza, I listen to my body and have a slice. But more often than not, I’m looking forward to my next homemade meal right afterwards.
It’s not going to happen overnight, getting rid of your cravings. It takes commitment and willpower to overcome them in the short-term so they disappear in the longterm. But I can tell you from personal experience that it’s 100% possible.
If you’re looking for more eating advice, be sure to read our piece on intuitive eating here.
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