Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus.See all posts »
Crave Healthier Foods
Curb the cravings and retrain your brain for healthier options.
What are some of your cravings? If you’re like the average American when it comes to food cravings, you turn to your favorite comfort foods—likely loaded with fat, salt, or sugar. I admit that quite often I have cravings for something downright sinful, too. While it’s okay to indulge every now and then, it’s important to do everything in your power to help keep these cravings under control!
Here are some steps you can take to help your body crave healthier foods:
Spring (or Fall or Winter) Clean Your Kitchen
In with the old, out with the new! Getting rid of readily available junk food and restocking with lots of fruits and veggies, lean protein, and whole grain options will help steer your brain towards healthier cravings.
Keep the Good Stuff on Hand
Keep healthy foods on hand to keep from reaching into that candy jar or grabbing a cookie from the break room. For example, I always carry a nutritious bar or piece of fruit with me to keep hunger at bay. If you allow yourself to get too hungry, the cravings intensify! Bridge your hunger with the healthy stuff so you can prevent craving the not-so-stellar stuff.
Postpone Dessert Cravings
Craving something sweet after dinner? You can still have it, but wait an hour or two after a meal to see if you’re hungry for it. Waiting will also help you spread the calories out instead of packing them on right after a meal. If you still want it later, have a small portion and enjoy every blissful bite!
Commit to eating healthy and nutritious food for the next few days and focus on how you feel (not on what you weigh). Do you have more energy? Better mood? Remembering the positive effects of having a healthy diet will help you think twice the next time you are craving junk food.
Trick Your Brain
Having a mid-afternoon craving for sweets? Distract yourself by taking a 10-minute movement break by stretching or taking a quick walk outside. Focusing on something else will help curb your cravings and retrain your brain to crave activity or something nutritious to eat.
With these tips in mind, you can squash that craving before it gets the best of you!