There is no shame in admitting that we all are in one or another way guilty of daydreaming about food and then ending up on an unhealthy munch-a-thon. Believe it or not, unhealthy food craving is a natural and common phenomenon, with more than 90% of people experiencing it. However, studies suggest that where males crave more savory foods, females tend to crave more high-fat, sweet foods.
One thing is mutual: the experience itself may be self-indulgent but satisfying the craving is where the unhealthy habit starts to overtake our diet. That is why it becomes important to discuss ways to not indulge in unhealthy food cravings in the first place. If you will kill your unhealthy cravings and replace them with healthier eating and, in general, healthier habits, it is bound to result positively and may even aid your weight loss.
Take a look at our top ten healthy replacements to kill your unhealthy cravings:
Water Is the Answer for Everything
Not only does drinking water aid in hydration and digestion, but it can be a great replacement for your unhealthy cravings. Our brains are confused creatures. It tangles up sensations, and more often, when you are thirsty, you end up craving a specific food. The best way to address it is with a large, chilled glass of water. After some time, you’ll notice the craving will fade away. Furthermore, if you make it a habit of drinking water before a meal, it will help in reducing your appetite and help with weight loss.
High Protein Intake
Eating high protein meals will help you feel full and keep you satisfied for long. This will lead to reduced cravings throughout the day because a high protein meal would trick your brain into thinking that you cannot eat more food. You can ask your dietician to suggest some high protein meals, ideally for breakfast or lunch, so that you experience lesser cravings during the day and reduce nighttime cravings by 60%.
Meal Planning Is Key
Not knowing what you will eat the next day or later the same day leads to thinking about food and eventually becomes an excuse for unhealthy snacking. However, planning your meals ahead of time removes the uncertainty and the spontaneity factor because your mind readily knows what you will be eating. This ensures fewer temptations and earlier meal prep to save time.
The best replacement for unhealthy habits is healthy snacking. Extreme hunger is one of the major reasons that we eventually start craving food. Therefore, the best way is to keep your hunger in check with some healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, granola bars, and dark chocolate. You can also indulge in some weight loss smoothies that will surely assist your craving as well as help in losing weight.
Be Mindful Of What You Consume
Apart from healthy snacking, meal preps, and drinking water to keep your unhealthy food cravings at bay, you should be aware of what your mind consumes. In the world of content-driven platforms like Instagram and YouTube, we likely come across advertisements and other content that subconsciously influence our cravings. Therefore, being mindful of what your mind consumes is just as important as being watchful of your food intake.
Treat Yourself to a Workout
There is no better time to satisfy your craving than before a workout. The idea is to indulge in a bite-size chocolate bar, 2-3 slices of crisps from a packet, or anything similar that in large amount would be extremely unhealthy. Satisfying your craving is just as important because thinking about a food item for long increases the chances of eating unhealthy amounts of it later. Hence, it is better to have a small amount right before you head to the gym, so instead of keeping the calories, you sweat them out.
Get Your Beauty Sleep
Many people don’t value sleep as it should be. Sleeping for an adequate amount of time is absolutely essential to lead a healthy lifestyle. The body releases many important hormones while we are asleep that help in the overall health and wellbeing. Not getting enough sleep disrupts the hormones and may result in many unhealthy habits.
Avoid Stress Eating
It is scientifically proven that stress causes unhealthy eating patterns and induces unhealthy food cravings. Apart from being harmful to your health in general, stress leads to eating abnormal amounts of food as a serotonin booster. Serotonin is a feel-good hormone that makes you feel happy, but unhealthy stress eating is not the right way to absorb it. One should relax, meditate and indulge in other calming activities that not only kill stress but create the feel-good hormone to make you feel better and stay away from indulging in unhealthy food cravings.
Don’t Go Grocery Shopping On an Empty Tummy
Grocery shopping on an empty stomach gives you an opportunity to buy unhealthy food as some of the unhealthiest snacks are placed on the most accessible supermarket aisles. Call it the worst combo but never ever go grocery shopping when you are hungry. A better approach is to list down the things you need and visit the supermarket right after you have eaten to keep the cravings at a minimum.
All in all, eradicating unhealthy food cravings can seem like a tedious task. But once approached with mindfulness, it can become easily replaced with these healthier habits.
We at UnCraveRx promote healthy eating and cater to personalized meal plans. If you are looking for an ideal meal plan for weight loss or healthy eating in general, contact us today!