Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been experiencing something that has never affected me until now – cravings. I know a lot of people get them, and I know I’m not the only person in the world experiencing them, but when it’s never really happened to you before – it sucks!

For most of my life, I have been craving free. If there was ever something I “fancied” I would just feel a little desire to indulge, but I would easily be able to forget about it and make a healthier choice.  

Lately, however, the cravings have been strong, and they’ve all been for JUNK. Treats like cookies, chips, popcorn, chocolate and pizza have been haunting my brain all because of a recent hormone replacement medication I was put on. 

So, keeping my goals in mind I’ve had to come up with some coping mechanisms for dealing with these cravings and I thought I would share them with all of you:

1.       Fill up with “freebies”

When I really get a hankering for something “bad” I’ll turn to s select few staple foods that make me feel full and satisfy my flavor needs, these include:
§          Sugar Free Jello – tastes yummy and it’s only 5 cals and 1 gram of protein!
§          Fresca Soda (sugar free) – low sodium and calorie, carb, fat and protein free.
§          Green or Herbal Tea – sweetened with a splenda, this gives me something to sip for awhile to keep my hands busy. 

2.      Keep busy
A lot of the time, when we are “hungry”, we are really just bored. If this is the case, step away from the TV and go do something that keeps your brain working or get’s you away from the fridge. Try some of these ideas:
§          Tidy up around the house
§          Go for a walk
§          Take a bath
§          Read a book or magazine
§          Hit the gym

3.      Trick your brain!
I’ve found this to be one of the most helpful tactics for abolishing the cravings – tricking them! Basically, find a healthier option for the thing you are craving and make it work in your meal plan. For instance If you are craving pizza, make a healthy one! Use whole wheat crust, make a cauliflower crust recipe or use an upside down portabella mushroom to place the toppings on. Then use a low sodium tomato sauce, or purred tomato paste for the sauce and place some healthy toppings on top. Voila – a healthy pizza to satisfy your craving. 

4.      Stay Hydrated
Often times, another reason why we are “hungry” is because we are thirsty. So, every time you get an urge to snack , drink a large glass of cold water. If nothing else, it will make sure you get your water in for the day and it will fill your belly up with liquid to make you feel full. 

5.      Allow yourself one cheat meal a week.
Speak to your nutrition coach before deciding to incorporate this tactic. But if you get the green light, this one is a great one! It’s important for us to remember that this is a lifestyle we are creating, and that doesn’t mean completely avoiding every food that isn’t in your plan. Sometimes, it’s healthy to go out to a restaurant and just indulge a little. You can still make healthier choices, but don’t get down on yourself if you decide to take a break from the plan for one meal each week. Just remember though, it’s one meal – not an entire day!