I can tell you many methods for crushing your cravings, including things you can do to prevent the cravings in the first place. Some of the best strategies are to exercise, get the right amount of sleep, and develop awareness of the thoughts you have when cravings start.
But, sometimes we want a quick fix or a “magic pill”. Since magic pills = fairy tales, I’ll give you the next best thing.
Did you know there are foods and beverages that have a big impact on cravings?
I dare you to give them a chance – you have nothing to lose, except maybe a few pounds!
This first strategy may very well be the most impactful.
We have very smart bodies. Our body has to keep a very precise balance between minerals in our cells. When that balance starts to merge away from optimal, our body will give us signals to tell us what we need to do or consume in order to restore this balance. However, sometimes we misinterpret the signals our body is trying to send to us!
Thirst is one of those signals. When the body tries to warn us, “water level is low”, we often interpret that as “go find something yummy in the kitchen!”
Here’s what I recommend: The next time you sense a craving, drink a big glass of water, and wait 10 minutes. I bet 9 out of 10 times, the craving you experienced will disappear!
Another heavy hitter is apples.
Apples will satisfy in so many ways:
- They are sweet, so they can satisfy a craving for sugar without blowing it with a twinkie!
- They’re filled with fiber, which will make you feel full.
- They have a special fiber called pectin which helps lower the sugar absorbed, keeping you from experiencing a blood sugar drop later on that will cause you to feel hungry again.
Remember to choose organic when you can. These fruits are high on the dirty dozen list.
A little goes a long way with some healthy fat.
My favorite go-to craving crusher is raw coconut. I buy Nature’s Way, and eat just one tablespoon when I get an intense hankering for something to eat. It does have 100 calories in that one tablespoon, but it contains 5 grams of fiber, less than a gram of sugar, and lots of healthy fat.
I admit to being a recovering sugar addict.
Anytime I allow myself to indulge in sugar, there is a very real physical craving for more. The coconut has been the best thing I’ve found to get me through those first few days of withdrawal.
I know there is some controversy about the saturated fat of coconut, and I was against all the coconut hype. That is, until I did my own research. If you want to talk about why I still love coconut, reach out now and let’s chat! [link to Contact/Book a Call]
Pine nuts are another great healthy fat option for getting rid of cravings – especially when you have a craving for chocolate!
Sometimes a craving for chocolate is actually a signal from the body that the magnesium level is low. Pine nuts happen to be a great source of magnesium.
Pine nuts also promote the release of cholecystokinin (CCK). CCK is a hormone that sends a signal to the brain that your belly is satisfied. It’s one of the hormones that tells us our meal is over. Try it out!
4. Leafy greens
Another great choice for chocolate cravings is dark green leafy vegetables. Sounds ridiculous, right? But hear me out. These powerhouse foods are another great source of magnesium.
Dark leafy greens are also full of many other vitamins and minerals your body is likely deficient in and is probably craving. Combine that with the fiber of vegetables, and you will feel fully satisfied after a tasty green smoothie or some broccoli with hummus.
5-HTP is an amino acid, and the precursor of serotonin, one of our wonderful happy hormones. As we age, our natural levels of 5-HTP decrease.
By taking 50mg of a 5-HTP supplement once or twice a day, the serotonin will help relieve cravings for sugar and gluten, which are highly addictive as discussed in this article HERE.
Bonus: 5-HTP can help promote restful sleep!
6. Avoid artificial sweeteners
When it comes to cravings, it would be irresponsible not to mention weaning off from artificial sweeteners. The cravings for sweetness will eventually disappear when you stop introducing sweet flavors.
If you are still eating sugar, honey, agave (or any of the many sweeteners available), it’s fine to use some stevia during the transition.
However, I encourage you to wean off of stevia and all other sweeteners so that your taste buds will adjust. It may take several months to completely change your love for sweetness. Be patient. It’s worth it! One day you will take a bite of what was once your favorite dessert, and say “wow, that’s TOO sweet!” and push it away!
There you have it! Be sure to join the Crushing Cravings Facebook group! It’s a growing community of women over 40 who are all working to create healthy and lean bodies by overcoming cravings for foods that do not nourish.
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