Food cravings are powerful, and they can come on strong. You may feel like there’s no use in fighting them… and before you know it, you’ve eaten a ton of your triggers foods and beat yourself up for craving them in the first place.
And the cycle continues.
But guess what? You have more power over these food cravings than you think. It just takes a little awareness and some awesome real food “hacks” to break the cycle.
First, let’s take a quick look at how to know which foods are your triggers—the ones that set off your cravings and closet eating.
If you eat a food and immediately crave more of it, it’s probably a trigger food for you. Foods that you crave when you aren’t hungry cause to you overeat and confuse emotional eating with hunger.
Think about a food you’ve said you’re addicted to or “can’t stop eating.” It’s probably high in sugars, refined flours, processed carbs, and/or unhealthy fats.
And cravings often happen when your body isn’t getting the proper vitamins and nutrients. Taking a high-quality, organic supplement like Mimi’s Miracle Minerals ensures you’re getting the nutrition you need every day.
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Replacing Your Cravings
If you’ve ever tried a sugar “detox,” you’ll know that eating less sugar over time gradually leads to less and less cravings for it. So a good way to transition away from trigger foods that don’t serve your body is by replacing them with healthier, whole foods-based options.
Here are some of the most common trigger foods and some ideas for replacing them:
Think: chips, movie popcorn, and fast food fries. These are full of tons of salt combined with unhealthy oils or butter and often artificial flavorings.
Instead of putting that bag of chips in your cart when you visit the grocery store, pick up a few fresh sweet potatoes or plantains to make your own sweet potato fries or plantain chips at home.
To make the sweet potatoes fries, rinse a sweet potato and slice it so that you have very thin fries (the thinner you slice them, the more they’ll resemble fast food fries—but without the added crap!). Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 475°F for around 22-25 minutes, until they are browned but not burned.
For other recipes, simply good the food that you crave with “healthy recipe” at the end of it. You’ll be happy to see there are healthy versions of just about any snack!
It might seem like more work to make your own snacks, but think about how long it takes to drive to the store, choose what you want, and go back home. In that amount of time, you can have tasty, healthy fries that are SO good for your body. There’s nothing better than that!
Candy is one of the biggest problem foods for most people. We all know candy contains nothing beneficial for our bodies and is full of concentrated refined sugars. So why do we still struggle around sweets?
Because they taste good, and they keep us coming back for more.
But thankfully, there are natural places to get your sweet fix AND vitamins and minerals that are good for your body. Dried fruit is an amazing substitute for sugar candies. Try dried pears, apples, mangoes (without the added sugar), apricots, and figs. Find what you like best!
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Many people enjoy fried foods and will crave them for meals. And it has everything to do with the fat content, taste, and textures of these foods.
But you’d be surprised how delicious you can make that same food with your own healthy version at home. You can take the food and bake it (instead of frying it), then turn on the oven’s high broil. (Remember those sweet potato fries I mentioned above? Do that.)
You’ll still satisfy your craving for that food without all the unhealthy fat and carbs that come from the deep-frying process.
I’m talking things like muffins, donuts, cake, and cookies. If you work in an office, you probably come in contact with these pretty often, right?
But these are extremely easy to make yourself at home—and they can be a lot of fun! Head on over to Pinterest or Google and find that recipe for the baked good you like. Then, swap out certain ingredients to make it healthier.
For example, instead of white flour, use one of these:
- whole wheat pastry flour
- whole grain gluten free flour
- oat flour
- almond flour or coconut flour (but don’t sub these 1:1—it’s best to Google a recipe already containing them)
And instead of white sugar, use a less processed sweetener like:
To reduce the fat, replace the oil or butter with applesauce. Note that this can change the product’s texture, so I’d start with replacing 50% with applesauce first and see how you like it.
While you don’t want baked goods to be the major part of your diet, these substitutions will really increase the nutrition and decrease the unhealthy aspects of your baked goods when you make them.
Sodas (and Other Sugary Drinks)
If you aren’t addicted to soda yourself, you probably know tons of people who are. There’s something about these drinks that are really hard for people to let go: and that’s SUGAR!
Start replacing the sugary drinks in your life (yes, even processed fruit juices) with other refreshing choices that don’t have sugar or extra calories.
Iced tea is a great choice. And for some sweetness, try using packets of stevia. You could also order a case of Zevia sodas, which are calorie- and sugar-free since they are sweetened with stevia.
And don’t forget to increase your water intake, above all else. The health benefits of drinking water go a long way in reducing cravings.
Replacing the foods you crave with healthy versions is a great way to not deprive yourself and also give your body better nutrition. Try them one at a time, and have fun with it!