If you're reading this post, you know exactly how it feels when a craving hits. Many times it comes out of nowhere. You find yourself thinking about that piece of chocolate or bag of chips and keep thinking about it until you cave in and consume it. It's happens like clockwork, 3pm hits and you just can't help but reach for something sweet or salty to fulfill that uncontrollable craving.
If this sounds all too familiar, keep reading to learn why you may be experiencing cravings and how to get a handle on them so you can feel in control of your eating decisions.
Why you may be experiencing cravings in the first place:
1. Snacks vs. Meals - you may not be consuming enough at each meal, leaving you hungry and wanting/needed more to sustain you to your next meal.
2. Stress - many times cravings can be associated with how we respond to stress. Grabbing for a sweet treat might feel soothing or comforting in the moment, but unfortunately the stressful event or situation is still present.
3. Restricting - if you find yourself heavily limiting what you consume on a daily basis and feeling like you are being deprived of everything thing you love, cravings are bound to hit and when they do, they hit hard.
What you can do to manage the cravings and feel in control of your eating decisions:
1. Eat More - this might sound counterproductive if you are working on a weight-loss goal, but eating more at each meal will make a huge difference when it comes to cravings throughout the day.
2. Alternative Tools - identifying when you use food as a distraction or as a comfort tool in a stressful situation can be incredibly powerful. Being aware of this can provide an opportunity for you to develop alternative tools to manage stress, so you aren't relying solely on comfort foods.
3. Inclusion - for most of us, as soon as we tell ourselves something is off limits, we want it more (even healthier foods like almond butter!). Planning to include the treat or food item that might not be the most nutritious from time to time in our diet will help reduce the craving to have it all the time and allow you to truly enjoy it when you do.
If you experience cravings regularly, the next time you feel one coming on ask yourself if you fall into any of the categories above. Give some of these tips a try and if you feel like you just can't shake it alone, feel free to contact me directly or schedule an intro call for additional support. You got this!!