4 Tips to Crush your Cravings

4 Tips to Crush your Cravings 

Have you been inching towards the quarantine 15? Want to know how to not only stop food cravings but even shed some weight during this shelter-in-place?

I’ll be honest, the second week of quarantine started to get the best of me. My stress levels were higher, the “newness” of the situation had worn off, and I found myself meandering into the kitchen more and eating for absolutely no reason.

Before I dive into my 4 craving crusher tips, let’s review the 4 main reasons that trigger cravings.

  • Eating foods high in sugar or carbs will cause blood sugar to spike. When blood sugar begins to come back down, the body begins to crave more sugar to get it back up.
  • Staying up late or not getting quality sleep can disrupt hormone balance and increase cortisol levels; when cortisol is elevated, cravings for sweets and carb rich foods increase too.
  • Dehydration can make you think that you are hungry, leaving you searching for food when you’re actually thirsty.
  • Being bored, stressed, anxious, or fearful can trigger cravings too.

Being home more, surrounded by spouses and kids, and trying to manage this new way of living is incredibly stressful and overwhelming. Being home more also means more and easier access to the kitchen. Your normal routine and structure that keeps you occupied throughout the day has shifted; you’re not eating at the same times or the same way, you aren’t going to your gym and working out at the same time, you aren’t even seeing the people you normally see on a daily basis. Everything seems to be different.

Do you find yourself staying up later Since you aren’t having to get up extra early for work or to get the kids ready for school? Are you binge watching more TV at night, getting in just one more episode of Tiger King? Are you reaching for that wine glass more often? Do you find that your emotions are starting to get to the best of you? Are you finding that you are trying to make sure everyone else is okay that you forget to take care of yourself?

Now that you know the common triggers for cravings and how this quarantine is amplifying those cravings, it’s time to take a look at how to crush them!

Starting with… FOOD! Seems logical, right? Eating the wrong foods for your body can leave you feeling tired, sluggish, irritable, and hungry. Ever felt hungry only even though you had just eaten?

This is a sign that blood sugar isn’t balanced. When you don’t eat the right ratios of protein, fat, and carbohydrates for you; your blood sugar will not stay level which increases cravings for sweets and carbs especially. When your ratios are balanced you will be able to go 3-5 hours without feeling hungry or the need to eat, have stable energy without caffeine, and have clarity of mind and focus.

What’s the right ratio of macronutrients for you? You can figure that out for yourself.

  • Be aware of how you feel 30 minutes before and 2 hours after a meal
  • Notice how different foods make you feel – physically and mentally
  • Adjust your ratios until you get the perfect response

Now it’s time to tackle sleep. If you aren’t getting enough sleep or sleeping at the right time, no amount of diet and exercise is going to get you to your goal unfortunately. Sleep is a critical pillar of health and it’s normally the one that’s sacrificed first. Sleep balances hormones and balanced blood sugar. If sleep is off, those cravings will be running ramped.

Sleep Tips to Stop Cravings:
1. Get to sleep by 10pm most nights
2. Limit screen time 1 hour before bed
3. Exercise in the morning, not in the evening
4. Have a dark, dark room to sleep in

Once proper macro rations and sleep are in place, if you are still struggling with cravings then take a look at water intake. The recommendation is to get ½ your body weight in ounces {for examples, a 150lb woman would need 75 ounces of water}. Keep in mind that you’ll want to ADD an additional 8 ounces of water for every cup caffeine you drink.

I always get asked, so I will answer here: Does sparkling water count? Yes and no. Yes, if it’s just one can of sparkling water, no if you aren’t drinking anything else. Good ole’ filtered water is what you want to get in.

Last but not least, when you find yourself getting stressed or anxious or just wanting to pull your hair out because your kids are driving you crazy…. Just remember to Stop and Pivot.

When a craving pops up, stop. Give yourself a moment to just stop before acting or engaging on the craving. Now pivot, do something different for 20 minutes – journal, go for a walk, meditate, or call a friend. A craving will pass within that time.

And if you pivot and you’re still hungry, then EAT! Honor that feeling and reach for something that is going to give you energy and make you feel good!

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