Do you have unhealthy food cravings? It is possible to change your cravings!
Often our unhealthy cravings start when we were children—what foods we ate growing up and how we linked food with certain emotions. I didn’t get a lot of candy growing up, and I often felt deprived. When I became an adult, I would go to the grocery store and eat a chocolate bar before I even left the parking lot. I remember it felts so shameful, and yet it felt so good.
I would often connect sadness or anger with junk food a reward or a fix. Breaking down these associations was a huge challenge for me. I had to learn that food is never the answer to make a negative feeling go away.
Maybe you can relate. Or maybe you were raised on processed and fast foods and now you crave the unhealthy drive-thru menus. No matter if you had plenty, or felt deprived, food triggers certain brain functions, which can turn into cravings later on in life.
It always seemed amazing to me how people could turn away foods I craved. How they could be at a party and pass by the bowls of chips without taking just one. How they said no when the cake was served.
More than anything I wanted to have a positive relationship with healthy food. Although I’ve come a long way, I still need to work on this area.
One of the ways I started craving healthy foods, was to consume them. Because fruit and vegetables made me feel better, I allowed that to drive my urge to naturally feel more inclined to eat these foods next time. For instance, when I learned the more green leafy vegetables you eat, the healthier you are and the more weight you will lose, I changed my view on greens. (source: Dee McCaffrey )
Another way was to target the negative food cravings to remove them. I had to train my brain that the reason I love Cheese-its so much is
If this feels like an overwhelming process, just start small. Below is a few ideas to help you stop craving junk and turn your cravings into healthy ones!
Look deeper at the foods you crave. Is there a root of the craving? If you find that you crave chocolate, ask yourself: is there an emotion going on here instead? Is your body lacking something? For instance, you may crave salty foods because your body may need more salt?
Keep a food journal. Jot down the food you ate and how it made you feel. When you eat greens and notice your numbers go down on the scale you are going to train your brain to have a positive reaction to healthy choices.
Challenge yourself with a Eat This not That. Find healthy alternatives to the things you crave. For instance, you can make Guilt-free Chocolate Crunch Bars. If you are craving salty foods, you might consider Three Amigos Corn Chips.
Constructively manage stress and emotion. Try exercising, talking to a close friend or professional, or meditating.
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Remember, little choices matter so don’t feel defeated. Instead, do something to make yourself better every day.