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Food Cravings – How to Curb Them!



Food Cravings – How to Curb Them!

Being on a healthy diet and fitness journey is an amazing experience. Once we’ve taken the plunge, of course sometimes we might struggle with motivation and finding the time and energy to exercise and make healthy food choices. But once we find our groove, it can actually be enjoyable. Especially if we’re following the OYG way of doing things, where exercise is fun and healthy food doesn’t feel like we’re on a restrictive, dull diet… 

But, there’s one major thing that can get in the way of all this hard work – the dreaded food cravings! They turn up, unannounced, and like an annoying song we can’t get out of our heads, they won’t go away. Food cravings can be particularly bad if we’re feeling hormonal, bored, stressed, anxious, low or sad. 

But it is possible to manage our food cravings, from having a sweet tooth to needing salty snacks whilst we watch TV. Here’s how! 

  • If your food craving is triggered by chilling out on the sofa in the evening, one of the hardest things to do is get up and exercise. But taking a walk for 20 minutes or so can be enough to take your mind off eating through boredom or habit. 
  • Occupying your mind can be a helpful distraction too. We love “brain training” by using apps to play games that help to stimulate the brain. Brain training apps such as Lumosity, Peak and Elevate are all free to use (you can pay for upgrades). Failing that, we also love apps for crosswords and card games that are equally as effective. Plus, your brain gets a workout too – bonus! 
  • Make sure you’re not thirsty, as thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated, which also has the added benefits of clear skin and less lethargy. 
  • Protein is an important aspect of each meal, as it keeps us fuller for longer and less likely to crave snacks. Healthy protein sources include chicken breast, white and oily fish, eggs, low fat dairy products, tofu and soya products, beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas. 
  • It’s also important to make sure you’re actually consuming enough calories. Eating an ultra-low calorie diet without medical supervision isn’t sustainable in the long run, especially if we’re exercising regularly. So ensure you’re still eating protein, carbs (yes, carbs!) and good fats with each meal so you don’t end up hungry again an hour after eating. 
  • Allow yourself to eat your favourite foods, and if that means chocolate and crisps, then they don’t have to be completely banned. Keep them as the occasional treat so that you have something to look forward to, rather than telling yourself you can’t have them ever. Because that’s a guaranteed way to crave them! 
Take steps to manage stress and get enough good quality sleep. Practising mindfulness and yoga can be helpful for both. The more stressed and tired we are, the more likely we’ll be to reach for our “crutch” or support foods that might be packed with sugar, salt, fat and calories.

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