It doesn’t matter how strong willed you think you are, will power is no match for our body’s physiology. When hormones are out of whack, ignoring the intense call for whatever sweet or salty treat floats your boat is next to impossible.
This time of year is even harder. A friend told me she was standing in line in a clothing store buying and one of the sales lady’s was walking up and down the line with turtles chocolate.
Who doesn’t love those little damn chocolates? She had her safety candy with her and she popped that lemon candy into her mouth before she could even say no thank you. Of course she could have had the chocolate.
There is NOTHING wrong with having 1 delicious chocolate turtle but here’s the thing…you're going grocery shopping after, or to an open house, and you certainly don’t want the chocolate to trigger a desire for anything else.
So if you are finding the holiday temptations challenging and want 3 proven ways to beat cravings, so saying "no thank you" isn’t painful, then implement my suggestions below.
You should know that controlling cravings has everything to do with balancing your hormones through choosing strategic foods… you are NOT a bad person for caving into a craving. Physiology trumps will power every time.
Tip #1: Eat breakfast within 30 minutes to an hour of waking up.
Breakfast sets the hormonal tone for the day. If you skip breakfast then your blood sugar levels drop around 10:00am causing a craving for something sweet. The blood sugar rollercoaster continues all day.
Even if you aren’t a breakfast eater grab a hardboiled egg or a handful of nuts to stabilize blood sugar.
Tip #2: Have 10 grams of fiber with your lunch.
Fiber is as close to a magic pill as you can get. It helps to keep you feeling full, stabilizes your blood sugar levels and helps excrete harmful toxins through your bowel movements.
10 grams of fiber suggestions:
2 tbsp of chia seeds
½ cup of beans or lentils
1.5 cups of berries
Tip #3: Have applesauce with your meal.
Our taste buds like a variety of flavors at meals and the sweet flavor isn’t typically one of them. Try having 1/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce with your lunch or dinner. The sweetness of the applesauce will help reduce the desire to have something sweet after dinner.
Please don’t ignore your cravings thinking they are normal. It’s your body’s way of letting you know something is out of balance. Pay attention to when you crave and what you crave. The one thing I know for sure is that in the absence of food cravings it’s much easier to make properly portioned food choices… even when there are chocolate turtles around.
If you’d like to discuss your food cravings, contact me at email@example.com.
Or follow me on twitter: @cheryl_wahl
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In good health,
Cheryl Wahl, RHN, Personal Trainer