4 Simple Steps to Reduce Food Cravings

It’s 4pm, you have been running all day. All you can think about is chocolate and you feel like you might need to take a nap in order to make it through the rest of your day. It’s a toss-up, stop and get a candy bar or a brownie, or maybe both.  Or maybe it’s after dinner and you are relaxing on the couch. You can hear it calling you, the coconut chip ice cream in your fridge. Maybe you will have just a little tonight. You start with one dish, not quite satisfied, you have a little more, until you realize you have just about polished off most of the carton.

Sound familiar?

Everybody splurges sometimes and that can be the most enjoyable part of eating something that isn’t necessarily “good for you”, however, if you seem to find yourself dwelling on satisfying your food craving on a regular basis, it might be your body trying to tell you that it needs something else.  Frequently food cravings aren’t the result a lack of willpower or discipline but your body giving a signal that it needs something.  Experiment with the following tips to see if they reduce cravings.

Water: Have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes to see if the craving goes away. Sometimes when we are slightly dehydrated, our thirst manifests as hunger.

Sleep: Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep on a regular basis. Not getting enough sleep can increase the desire for sugar and carbs by affecting your appetite hormones. Establish a relaxing bed time routine and try to get up and go to bed at approximately the same times if you have a difficult time going to sleep.

Lack of Nutrients: When our bodies aren’t getting enough nutrients it can produce cravings for odd things. For example a lack of minerals can cause salt cravings or an overall lack of nutrients can cause cravings for non-nutritional foods like caffeine. Try switching your salt to an unrefined salt (Himalayan or Celtic) instead of regular table salt. Unrefined salt contains the minerals that are lost during the processing of table salt. To reduce cravings for caffeine, try adding greens and whole grains to your diet.

Eat Breakfast: Eating a combination of healthy protein, (eggs, nuts, seeds, nut butter) and whole grains (Oatmeal) help stabilize blood sugar and provide long lasting energy so you are less likely to have cravings or low energy later in the day.

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