“How do you overcome unhealthy cravings?”
Well, this is a perfectly fantastic question. I think if I had this figured out I would have a six pack and the diet world wouldn’t be a billion dollar industry. I am totally human and there are definitely foods I struggle with cravings around. Here’s what I do to help manage my cravings for less healthy options.
9 Practical Ways to Overcome Cravings
1. Keep the junk out of the house.
I can spare myself so much willpower if I use it at the store to shop smart and not bring unhealthy food home. Or if I bake something unhealthy I try to do it when I know I can take it someplace like a party or I send it to work with my husband.
2. Keep the junk out of site.
If I do buy treats it is most likely for my husband or kids so I try to get those snacks out of my line of site. They’re on the bottom shelf and my healthy snack bars, nuts, and dates are right in front.
3. Drink a big glass of water.
Sometimes when I feel “snacky” what I’m actually craving is water! I try to drink a big cup or water or a mug of tea before reaching for something sweet, snacky or crunchy.
4. Eat a piece of fruit and healthy fat
Pairing an apple and peanut butter is one of my favorite, filling healthy snacks! See more of my 25 Insanely Easy Healthy Snack Ideas that will help you find satisfying snacks that are healthy too!
5. Create a healthy version of what you’re craving
I absolutely crave pizza! But I can’t eat greasy Pizza Hut every week and still get my fitness goals so I make my own whole wheat pizza topped with turkey pepperoni and delicious veggies! Perfect!
6. Answer your craving.
If I’m craving chocolate I’d rather have a piece of dark chocolate or brownie and really enjoy it. Savor it, eat it without guilt and move on. Have a small, but satisfying portion of what you’re craving and really enjoy it–treat yourself!
7. Don’t try to answer your craving with something else.
If I want ice cream but instead I eat popcorn and then find myself snacky again, and have a snack bar and then finally “cave” and eat a bowl of ice cream and feel guilty. It would have been much better for me to answer the craving with a delightful, but reasonable portion–really enjoy it and move on without feeling ashamed or guilty. Check out the book Intuitive Eating for more tips on eating without guilt or shame.
8. Understand emotional eating
Honestly, most cravings aren’t really about the food. Sometimes it’s about craving what the food represents: control, reward, soothing, relaxation, not the actual food.
Often I’m craving an emotional response like feeling calm or deserving, or searching for an outlet for anger or stress.
Cravings are complicated because they have to do not just with our taste buds but with our brains! So trying to stop and think about why I want something is so important to understanding and overcoming my cravings.
You can even use journaling or tapping to work through some of the feelings you are experiencing.
9. A craving won’t kill you.
It’s okay to want something really badly and not get it. Most cravings pass within 5 minutes. You can do anything for 5 minutes.
I’m definitely not perfect, but these strategies help me! Eating healthy while simple is really hard! But nothing worth doing comes easy, right?!
Okay, going to wrap up today by sharing my meal and exercise plan for the week. I was stoked to get in 5 workouts last week–3 ripped in 30 and 2 runs! Whatup!
Meal Plan for the Week:
Tuesday: Chicken Noodle Soup
Wednesday: Mini Italian Meatloaves
Thursday: Turkey and Black Bean Chili
Friday: Burgers with lean ground beef
Saturday: Marinated Chicken Breasts (just throwing it all in the crockpot!)
All this food sounds soo good! Lots of cozy things to eat; just the way I like it. I love pairing soup and salad on winter evenings for dinner or soup and a baked potato.
Workout Plan for the Week:
Monday: Ripped in 30 Week 3
Tuesday: 2.5-3 mile run
Wednesday: Ripped in 30 Week 3
Friday: Ripped in 30 Week 3
Saturday: 3 mile run
Ripped in 30 is killer. Like literally the hardest workout I think I’ve ever done and I’m mostly doing the modifiers only.
I think I’m going to repeat Weeks 3 twice before moving on to Week 4. I literally can’t imagine how it can get harder. With that being said I am SO proud when I finish and I’ve seen more stamina on my runs which is awesome! It’s fun to push!