Any type of dietary change takes time. It has been shown that 21 to 28 days of consistent and healthy changes in a diet is usually what is required to change your mental and physical dependencies on fast food and processed foods. That doesn’t sound like much time. However, when food cravings attack, that can seem like an eternity.
The good news is every time you defeat a single and less than healthy craving for some particular type of processed or fast food, you program your mind to resist the temptation in the future. Use the following proven strategies if you need to defeat an unhealthy food craving.
Reward Yourself With a Healthy Whole Food Instead
What is your favorite whole food? What is the one unprocessed food that lights up your eyes when you think about it? The next time you find yourself craving a cheeseburger, slice of chocolate cake or chili-covered cheese fries, enjoy a serving of your favorite unprocessed food. This substitution process will eventually have you craving healthy food instead of unhealthy options.
Drink a Large Glass of Water
Studies have consistently shown that people who drink lots of water are healthier than people who do not. This is in part because water is a healthy substitute for carbonated and processed beverages. It is also the case because water fills you up quickly. A 12 ounce or 16 ounce glass of water takes up a lot of space in your stomach and gives you a sense of being full, effectively helping you beat an unhealthy food craving.
Pop a Handful of Nuts or Seeds
Seeds and nuts are not only nutrient-dense and full of healthy fats, but they are also calorie-rich. This is why you should monitor how many nuts and seeds you eat on a daily basis. That having been said, when an unhealthy food craving comes along, a healthy handful of filling seeds and nuts is a smart, whole foods solution.
Remind Yourself of Your “Big Why”
What is the real reason, the core emotional or psychological driving factor, that has you eating healthy? Write it down on the back of a business card or a small piece of paper. Carry this with you in your purse, pocket or wallet, everywhere you go. Sometimes simply reminding yourself of exactly why you are eating healthy can get you past an unhealthy food craving.
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