How to Handle Cravings

HowToHandleCravingsThe holidays are quickly approaching us, and that means there is going to be an abundance of parties, food, and stress. Cravings for sweets, eggnog, and other unhealthy items are not unusual this time of year, but the key is finding out where these cravings are coming from and how to combat them. Here are a few items along with a few tips that can help reduce cravings:

Ways to Fight Cravings

–       Water. Water is so important in our day-to-day lives. If we are dehydrated, our body can crave foods to make up for our dehydration. If we are over-hydrated, our bodies can also crave food. Make sure your water intake is balanced. You should be getting at least 64 ounces of plain water per day. This can vary depending on the seasons. You should definitely drink more water during the summer months or when you are doing a lot of physical activity.

–       Stress. When stressed our bodies crave warm foods that fill us up and keep us warm. Figure out what is triggering your stress and find a way to resolve it. If it’s money, you could try creating a budget or cut some of the luxuries out until you are back on track. If you are tired and overworked, try some breathing exercises and yoga. Even keeping a journal can help get all of your stress out on paper, rather than keeping it bottled up inside.

–       Hormones. Oftentimes women will have cravings right before or during their menstrual cycle. When this happens, try snacking on healthy foods. For example, instead of going for a candy bar, try 1oz of dark chocolate to help. Not only is dark chocolate full of antioxidants, but it has also been shown to lower blood pressure. This can help reduce cravings for that unhealthy candy bar or cookie, yet you still get the sweet taste that you want.

–       Lack of nutrients. Make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet full of lean proteins, along with fresh fruits & vegetables. When we are lacking certain nutrients we can produce a craving for salt or even items like caffeine.

Fight Cravings Summary

Finding balance in your every day life will help reduce your overall cravings. Seek balance in your health, diet, social lifestyle, and relationships. Sometimes all it takes is adding in an exercise routine to take care of some of your stress. Other times you may need to sit down and re-evaluate relationships, finances, and other not so fun items. But stay strong, and fight those cravings. There is usually an underlying reason to your craving. By figuring that out, you’ll be able to avoid those cravings in the future.

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