Most of us crave unhealthy foods because our bodies aren’t getting what they need through our food choices, so the easiest way to combat junk food cravings is to change what’s on our plates. First, it’s important to get rid of the junk food that’s already in your house. If you can’t bear to throw it out, then donate it or give it to a friend. I realize parting with your favorite junk foods isn’t easy but it’s much easier to avoid them if they’re not in your house at all. The best way to combat junk food cravings is to crowd them out with healthy foods. Try some of these tips and you'll crave healthy foods before you even know it!
1 Eat Your Greens
It’s so important to eat (or drink) your greens each day since they’re one of the best foods to combat junk food cravings. Greens are chock-full of vitamins and minerals, which is what your body is really craving. They’re also a great source of magnesium, which many people fall short in. Magnesium helps decrease your blood sugar and improve the way your body uses carbohydrates, fats, and protein from your foods. This optimizes your metabolism and prevents you from craving sugary foods.
2 Load up on Veggies
The more you bulk up your meals with veggies, the less hungry you’ll be throughout the day. Remember to fill up on the good stuff so you won’t want any of the unhealthy snacks you used to eat in between meals. Any veggie counts and creativity is key!
3 Start with Protein
Starting out your day with protein lowers your blood sugar, your cravings, and decreases your hunger all day long. Protein triggers a hormone in the body that lowers your blood sugar so hunger subsides more quickly. It also keeps you alert and focused instead of making you jittery and tired like caffeine and sugar can. Opt for some plant-based protein powder in a smoothie, have a bowl of oatmeal or quinoa with chia seeds, or indulge in a savory tofu scramble with kale, tomatoes, and some savory spices.
4 Munch on Veggies and Fruit
Veggies like celery and baby carrots along with fruits like grape tomatoes, apples, cucumbers, oranges, zucchini, bananas, and berries all make awesome snacks on the go. Any fruit or veggie counts so pick your favorites and eat them anytime you feel the urge to munch in between meals. It might take some getting used to at first but you’ll come to crave them, and you can eat as many as you want!
5 Have a Handful of Nuts
If you’re stressed mid-morning or afternoon, pair your fruit and veggies with a small handful of raw almonds. Raw almonds are another great source of magnesium and a good source of protein. Plus, almonds have that sweet and crunchy texture you might be craving and are a far better alternative than chips or cookies.
6 Go for a Walk
Sometimes your body needs nothing more than oxygen and movement, so get up and go for a walk, even if it’s just around your office or the block. You’ll feel so much better, I promise! Don’t eat out of boredom when you might just need some physical activity.
7 Drink More Water
Last but not least, before you dive into a snack, drink a huge glass of ice water. Likely, you were just thirsty to begin with and not truly hungry. While this isn’t always true, staying hydrated is important for many health reasons, so practice having a glass of water before every single meal and two glasses in between meals.
These tips aren't easy at first but they help combat your junk food cravings and in no time you'll be feeling brand new! What’s your best way to crowd out the junk food cravings?
Sources: diabeticconnect.com, hsph.harvard.edu