Do you ever crave certain foods, like crawling across shards of broken glass kind of cravings?
That might be a bit extreme, but you get the idea.
Food cravings are a universal struggle. One hundred percent of young women and seventy percent of young men experience them; scientists have yet to find a “cure.”
But this doesn’t mean you should give up trying to control your cravings. Just because you can’t cure them doesn’t mean you can’t manage them.
Know your triggers
What causes you to crave certain foods? Is it a specific place like a movie theater and the smell of popcorn, or special occasion or people?
Keep a “cravings journal to identify your triggers. When you experience a food craving, write down what you’re craving, how you’re feeling, where you are, and what you’re doing at the time.
Avoid your triggers
Once you’ve identified your triggers, you can manage or avoid them! Start by putting the food somewhere out of sight or at least where it isn’t easily accessible (that means no secret stash of candy in your nightstand or office drawer).
Go a step further by not buying those foods in the first place. Avoid the junk food aisle at the store, and your favorite fast-food restaurants until you’re in charge of your cravings and not at their mercy anymore.
Don’t let yourself get too hungry
Let’s face it. It’s tough to eat a healthy meal when you’re starving and short on time! Extreme hunger makes you crave quick fixes like candy and burgers. Make it a habit to eat healthy food before getting too hungry.
You crave what you eat
Many of us mistakenly believe that our cravings will go away if we feed them. Sadly, this belief flies in the face of scientific evidence. Feeding your cravings strengthens them, but starving them weakens them.
So, to start craving fruit and vegetables, eat more of them! You can train your taste buds to enjoy new foods in as little as five days.
Forty percent of people are stress eaters. High levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, can cause people to crave foods that are high in fat and sugar.
If you’re a stress eater, the best way to control your cravings is to find other ways to de-stress. Hit the gym, go for a walk, get a massage, meditate, or read a good book.
One of the easiest ways to manage cravings is to make it harder to access the foods you crave by keeping them out of your home and having healthier options on hand instead.
And remember to de-stress and strive to keep your hunger in check by making sure you don’t reach a point where you’re starving and will gobble up the first sugary/salty thing you see just to satisfy overpowering urges. You can do this!