Do you know how to curb cravings without feeling deprived? This was a struggle of mine for many years. I would be doing an amazing job with eating well and working out and then, bbbbbboooom. A craving. Feeling like you can’t satisfy a food craving often leads to that “poor me I’m on a diet” AGAIN or STILL mentality. Is within that moment that we have the power to curb cravings without feeling deprived OR give in to the craving.
When we choose to give into a craving, several things can happen. We will feel sick (because your body ain’t used to that crap no more!); We feel depressed (because we let the craving win, again); We feel like we will never be successful (because cravings keep happening). We basically feel like crap.
When you choose to curb cravings without feeling deprived, you end up feeling empowered and satisfied. Trust me. If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know I believe indulging in the occasional treat. However, succumbing to cravings for days or weeks at a time will be detrimental to your health and fitness.
I have my back-pocket full of healthy tips for curbing cravings this new year and it all has to do with planning ahead. Full-disclosure. I have historically been a very poor planner. By nature, schedules make my skin crawl. I have to really stay focused to meal plan and journal – two essential tools that you NEED if you’re serious about getting healthy.
So, without further chatter, let’s talk about curbing cravings without feeling deprived.
- Meal Plan – When you plan out your meals and snacks (yes, all of them), you will have an opportunity to curb cravings without feeling deprived. As stated above, I’m a crappy planner. SO, if planning an entire week of meals weirds you out, just do it one day at a time! As I finish my daily journal entry, I go ahead and map out meals for the next day. It’s great to do this when you’re not hungry.
- Food Prep – After you’ve been to the grocery store, separate your healthy snacks from the rest of your haul. Go through any fresh produce that can be washed, sliced, and stored for later. It’s best to have clean sliced veggies readily available so you can pick them up when you’re tempted to dive into a bag of Doritos. I love sliced cucumbers; peppers; carrots; and hummus. Having these things on-hand fulfills my psychological craving to snack while filling my body with nutritious easily-accessible food. You may also want to stock your cabinets with a quality protein powder (I like Vega One); some pre-packaged bars (check the ingredients VERY WELL because some of them truly are candy bars – I like Larabars); and single-serve packets of peanut butter or almond butter (like Justin’s brand). All of these suggestions are very helpful for when you’re on the go.
- Be Ready On-the-Go – In the busiest seasons of life, I’ve defaulted to the drive-thru. And, you know, when you are busy and hungry you “deserve” a quarter-pounder with cheese, fries, and a coke (sarcasm, people). You don’t deserve that. Your body doesn’t deserve that. You can do so much better. I suggest that you invest in some food containers. These are my favorite: Pyrex Snapware. You can take them anywhere and the lids close really well (we all know that’s important in the car).
- Drinks – This is hard. Especially if you were a regular soda or alcohol drinker. The best replacement drink I’ve found is hot tea. Hang in there with me… Yes, the first herbal tea I ever drank tasted like grass. Some still taste like grass. However, if you try a few varieties, you will likely find one that you enjoy! If you really can’t take it plain, add a small amount of honey or stevia to give it a kick. You may also want to add a little fresh fruit to ice water for a sweet treat. Cucumber and strawberry is a great combo. Add basil, too, if you’re brave (it’s so good!). BE CAREFUL with juices; even homemade juices. You can really get sugar-ed up without realizing it. When I was pregnant with my first baby I would purchase three cartons of OJ at a time and drink them all in a matter of days. I know. Subsequently, I quickly packed on pounds. There was more to it, but the OJ did not help.
Soooo, that’s all for today. Let me know if you have other great tips for curbing cravings without feeling deprived! I’d love to hear them.