Workouts, recipes, motivation, tips, and advice all right to your inbox! Subscribe to Tone-and-Tighten.com using the black bar up at the top of the page.
You’ve never had one of these, right?
Ahh – the food cravings. They happen to all of us, blindside us completely, and usually knock our great progress and self-discipline off track. Just the other night it happened to me; my wife and I were talking about milkshakes and how we hadn’t had one in a long time. Before we knew it we had talked ourselves into splitting a “cheat shake” of Oreos and hot fudge! Now – I’m all about the cheat meal and the occasional treat (as long as I’m able to spend extra time in the gym and extra effort in the kitchen to make up for it), but it really got me thinking more about cravings. They happen to all of us and there’s simply no way around them… or is there?? Today I wanted to share with you the top 5 foods that you crave and, more importantly, how you can curb them the healthy way. You’re stronger than the temptation – let me show you how…
Ahh the almighty cocoa bean… no surprise here, right?! Some reports put chocolate as the most-craved food in the world. Most professionals suggest your body may be deficient in magnesium; that some 80% of us don’t get enough magnesium and that’s why we reach for the chocolate instead.
Alternative: Well if you’re going to do it, at least do it the right way! Reach for the dark stuff as a healthier means to satisfy your cravings. Also foods high in magnesium such as nuts, seeds, fish, and leafy green veggies should help.
Believe it or not, craving salt or salty foods usually means that you’re dehydrated. Salt cravings can also be an indication of a chloride deficiency and even stress (darn you, french fries and potato chips)!
Alternative: The best way to combat dehydration is (imagine this) with hydration! It is recommended that you drink eight 8-ounce glasses (64 ounces of water) every day. Might I recommend T&T’s “Drink Your Water Challenge” to help you easily track your progress?! Also decreasing stress (Yoga, meditation, running, I usually head to the gym, etc) is an excellent way to decrease salty cravings.
My personal nemesis; sometimes I think my “sweet tooth” would better be classified as a “sweet mouth”! A hankering for the sweet stuff may be as simple as a need for a quick energy fix from stress or lack of sleep. It can also be an indication for blood-sugar (and resultant) insulin fluctuations.
Alternative: Fresh fruit is “nature’s sugar” – reach for an apple, banana, orange, or grapes instead. Also eating high-fiber and complex carbohydrates (beans, legumes, whole grains, etc) should also help eliminate this craving.
Craving fat or fatty foods may be caused by a low daily fat intake. The right kind of fat is an essential nutrient in healing and replacing cells in your body (it’s especially vital in joint health), and it’s a vital component in many other bodily functions.
Alternative: Omega-3 fatty acids including walnuts, salmon, avocado, and flaxseed oils, are the healthy way to curb this craving.
There’s a reason why they call it “comfort food”! Eating carbs actually triggers your body’s release of serotonin – the “happy hormone”. This could be why so many of us reach for the baked goods when we’re feeling down.
Alternatives: do your carbs the right way: brightly-colored carbs (sweet potatoes, beans, brown rice, lentils) are always a better option than colorless (white bread, white rice, enriched flour, etc).
Believe it or not, MOST food cravings are actually WATER cravings! Most of us (up to 80%) suffer from dehydration and we don’t even know about it! Those “hunger” cravings you’re feeling may very well be your body telling you that you’re thirsty and you’re interpreting the information into what you want it to be. The next time you’re craving something off this list, try reaching for a large, cold glass of water instead. Taking a big drink will, most of the time, curb that craving into nothing!
Healthy eating is vital to any successful fitness plan. In this post you learned about the most common cravings that you’re going to experience and what you can do to combat them. Be stronger than your appetite, and the next time one of these cravings hits you, hit it back by reaching for one of these healthy alternatives instead!
I’ve got dozens of healthy and delicious snack ideas right here on Tone-and-Tighten.com!
Check out this link to be taken to my list of snacks you won’t feel bad about!
Make it happen,
Share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest using the social share buttons below!