Food cravings are the WORST! They get us reach for foods we know aren’t good for us and when will power fails binging can sabotage our progress in the gym. So how can we stop food cravings? Our bodies are clever and they use cravings as a way to tell us something is missing from our diets. Keep reading to find out what your cravings mean and how to stop them.
1. Chocolate Cravings
Now this is a big one for us girls and chocolate cravings could be telling us we are actually deficient in magnesium, chromium or vitamin B! Magnesium deficiencies are common amongst females who train a lot and because chocolate and cocoa is high in magnesium our bodies will tend to crave more chocolate. To curb your cravings try a square of 85% dark chocolate or try adding raw cacao to your shakes.
Apart from this mineral deficiency, a chocolate craving may also be telling you you’re a bit down in the dumps! When we eat chocolate the feel good hormone serotonin is produced which boosts our mood. That being said, a chocolate craving is common amongst individuals with depression. To try avoiding this craving make sure you are getting a good boost of endorphins by regular exercise and doing something fun to enjoy yourself.
If you’re still craving chocolate try satisfying it in a healthy way with these healthy chocolate recipes.
2. Bread & Carbs Cravings
When it comes to increasing fitness and health many people choose to cut out carbs and bread. Okay, so bread is refined and isn’t great for us, but that’s not to say it can’t be part of a balanced diet when consumed n moderation.
If you’re craving processed flours you may be experiencing a bit of fatigue and low blood sugar. To avoid this craving make sure your diet is high in fibre and mineral rich fruits and vegetables to help better control your blood sugar.
3. Sweets & Sugar Cravings
Now we ALL get this craving from time to time – but don’t go reaching for the pick n mix just yet! Sugar cravings are bit like a never ending cycle. When you eat too much sugar your blood sugar levels become temporarily spiked before they drop back to lower levels. This imbalance causes an energy crash and for us to actually crave more sugar!
Sugar cravings all the time could be indicating your diet is already too high in sugar or that you are lacking key minerals like magnesium and chromium. What’s more, people who lack sleep and are more tired also tend to have higher sugar cravings.
To avoid craving sugar make sure you are getting enough sleep and eating enough protein and leafy green vegetables high is magnesium, vitamins and other minerals.
4. Salty Food Cravings
Salted peanuts & crisps … mmmmmmmm. But what’s really missing? A salt craving means that your electrolyte levels could be low which is really common in people who exercise. When we exercise we sweat a lot of water and salts out of our system. By not replenishing these electrolytes you may suffer more muscle fatigue and salt cravings. Not only that, but salt cravings could be an indication you’re stressed!
To curb the craving make sure you are replenishing your electrolytes after exercise. Good foods rich in electrolytes are sweet potatoes, bananas and avocados! Stay hydrates and try consuming foods high in vitamin B like nuts, fruits, vegetables & legumes to help relieve stress.
5. Fried Food Cravings
A craving for fatty foods is pretty simple – your body wants fat. But its essential fatty acids you need and not bad saturated fats. If you find yourself yearning for a takeaway or burger and fries try looking to have a meal rich in healthy fats from nuts, nut butters, avocados or oily fish like salmon!
6. Cheese & Dairy Cravings
Cheese and dairy cravings can also be telling you you’re in need or some healthy fatty acids. Not only that, but cheese and dairy contain a chemical called L-tryptophan which can help improve mood and relaxation. Cheese and dairy are big components of many comfort foods like pizza and ice cream. Therefore, a dairy craving may be your body’s way of saying you need to destress and relax more!
If you’re still craving pizza – click here to try these 5 healthy vegetable pizza crust recipes.
7. Late Night Cravings
Do you find yourself eating more in the evenings and craving more at night? Late night food cravings could be your body’s way of telling you to get more rest or that you aren’t eating enough in the day time.
The best way to avoid night time cravings is to make sure you eat regular meals throughout the day and don’t over exercise and over train. If you find yourself needing to snack late at night try having a very small piece of dark chocolate or distracting yourself by listening to a podcast in bed, meditating or reading a book.
8. Craving Fizzy Drinks
Craving a diet coke? Diet coke actually contains around 30mg of caffeine so this could be your way of craving energy and caffeine. Not only that, but fizzy drink cravings may be a sign of calcium and magnesium deficiency. This is because fizzy drinks are high in a chemical called phosphorus which can leech and remove calcium from our bones.
Fizzy drinks are bad news but can be consumed in moderation. To avoid cravings, try detoxing from caffeine and getting enough sleep. Consume lots of magnesium and calcium rich foods like dairy and leafy green vegetables.