Cravings. That super annoying twinge in the back of your mind that inexplicably makes you want to munch. Usually on food you shouldn’t be munching on.
You know how it goes, you’re doing awesome on your new healthy plan. Exercising and fueling your body with the foods you know you should.
Then you go to a party or social gathering and without warning, the delightful scent of fresh baked brownies surrounds you.
You try to suppress your growing urge to eat them by thinking of something else, but it doesn’t work. Eventually, you give in to that plate of brownies that has been taunting you for the past hour.
Cravings are a part of being human, but that doesn’t mean they have to dictate your life! Too often they prevent us from reaching our health and fitness goals.
I’m leading a revolt to stop cravings and I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve that are going to help you end the war with pesky cravings.
What Are Cravings?
First off, what exactly are cravings? And why on earth are they so strong sometimes?
The more we understand about cravings and what our triggers are, the more likely we will be able to prevent them!
Cravings can be one big complicated cookie. They can hit when you least expect and the cause could be from several different triggers like hunger, mood, and your environment.
Hunger and cravings go together like peanut butter and jelly. Like Ross and Rachel. Like Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake.
Except hunger and cravings are far from entertaining. They are the biggest barriers to fat loss and achieving the fit body we work so hard for!
Hunger seems to block out any sort of reason from our heads. As a result, we end up eating the fastest option we can get our hands on, even if it’s that bar of chocolate or the drive-through.
Stressful day at work? Check. Horrible mood? Check. A pint of cookie dough ice cream? Check.
It’s old news that bad moods can trigger cravings for comfort foods. This is largely due to our biology.
Our brains have been trained that good tasting food, especially fatty and sugary foods, release the neurotransmitter and “feel good” hormone dopamine.
I mean, I guess our brain is just trying to do us a favor and cheer us up, but there are better ways to improve mood than giving into cravings and stuffing our faces!
Our environment can have a profound impact on just about everything about us from the way we act to how we eat.
When we are surrounded by unhealthy foods, you can be sure that you’re going to want to eat those types of foods!
The good news is that most of you are in total control of what you buy and what you bring home.
Of course, this is easier said than done when we are constantly bombarded with drool-worthy food at the grocery store or in the media.
How To Stop Cravings
Now that we understand some common triggers of cravings and where they come from, now I’m going to let you in on my top four secrets to preventing them.
1. Include a source of protein with every meal.
Getting enough protein is going to be your best friend in the fight against cravings.
Protein does way more than feed your muscles the amino acids they need, protein also helps keep you from getting hungry!
When you include a source of healthy protein with each meal, you’ll actually slow digestion which keeps you fuller for longer. This is also good news for keeping blood sugar levels steady and to prevent energy drops. Win win!
My favorite way to get the protein I need each day is with IdealLean Protein for Women. It contains 20g of pure protein isolate, the highest form of protein available. Plus it tastes amazing!
2. Drink plenty of water.
Staying hydrated throughout your day can keep those cravings in check, especially if you are replacing soda with water.
Sipping on water regularly during the day keeps your mind and your mouth occupied and can actually keep your mind off of your cravings. It also takes up volume in your stomach, helping you to feel full.
If you need your water to be a little sweeter, try adding some fresh squeezed lemon and stevia or even some BCAAs for extra recovery and muscle support.
3. Find healthier alternatives.
Just because you have a new healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself!
Depriving yourself and being overly strict with a diet will always backfire. Ever notice when you’re on a diet that your cravings seem to tempt you more than ever?
I know the feeling, not being “allowed” to eat something only makes you want it more!
Now I’m not giving you the green light to go ahead and eat all the cookies, cake, and chips you want. Part of having a healthy diet is learning to find better alternatives to the foods you love.
I suggest finding healthy recipes that are also high in protein for a double blow against cravings!
I’ve actually compiled 28 protein recipes using my favorite protein, IdealLean and it’s 100% FREE! Guys, this eBook is packed with breakfast, snack, and dessert recipes that are not only delicious but good for you!
You can download it for free here!
Imagine pumpkin pie bread, fudge, and french toast guilt-free! Satisfy your cravings the healthy way!
4. A workout a day keeps the cravings away.
By now you guys know I’m a pretty big fan of exercise, I just love how it makes me feel strong and confident!
You are probably aware of most of the benefits of exercise: decreased risk for chronic diseases like type II diabetes and heart disease, better mood, a fit and lean body. But did you know exercise can reduce your cravings?
A study done in 2012 compared exercisers and non-exercisers and found that those who exercised had a significant reduction in food cravings following a workout than those who didn’t workout.
If that’s not a reason to get your body moving each day, I don’t know what is!
No matter what you enjoy, whether it’s running, rock climbing, swimming, or cross-fitting, just be sure to move your body often so you can reap the benefits.
Put An End To Cravings
Cravings can be a struggle and get in the way of our goals, but they don’t have to be such a nuisance! Let’s review my secrets to stop cravings:
- Have plenty of protein each day. An excellent protein powder like IdealLean Protein can help you stay full and keep hunger and cravings away.
- Drink water. Keep yourself hydrated and full. Aim for about one gallon each day!
- Find healthy alternatives. You don’t have to deprive yourself of foods you love, just find better high protein alternatives!
- Exercise daily. Find something you enjoy and be sure to get your body moving each day to help ward off cravings.
Dealing with cravings just got a whole lot easier.
Follow these tips daily and you’ll be one step closer to a healthier life and fitter body!