Healthy Choices for Common Food Cravings

Everyone has food cravings for certain foods, So let’s look at some healthy choices 

Everyone has food cravings and slip-ups, but it is not the end of the world! So, why do we crave certain foods and why do we give in to the temptation?
Firstly we need to realise whether we are really hungry or whether it is just a craving?  There is a difference between hunger and cravings.

Hunger is a biological need to eat something because your stomach is empty, and therefore as research has shown, we tend to want to eat protein foods to satisfy their hunger. A craving, however, is an intense desire for a specific food. The main reasons why we crave specific fatty and high carb foods, are stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue. It is hard to resist cravings with so much food readily available. And yes it is ok to indulge occasionally but there are healthier alternatives that have fair less guilt attached.

One of the most vital steps in succeeding is to plan ahead. For example, if you are going to a function in the evening and are going to be faced with specific food, you have the following choices;

  1. learn to hold back and say no
  2. change your food plan for that specific day leading up to the function, and allow yourself freedom
  3. or have a healthier alternative!
  4. Do nothing… (the first 3 are much better 🙂

Do not beat yourself up about cravings because it can lead to you feeling worse and eating even more. Use it as a learning tool to notice what happened and what you can do next time, to prevent the situation from arising. We all go through a stage when we crave foods such as chocolate, or ice-cream, and of course it is important not to give in every time.

What do you do?? Everybody needs to satisfy their cravings once in a while, and therefore you should be prepared with a substitute.

food cravings

Food Cravings Substitutes:

Examples of substitutes:
Ice-cream = Non-fat frozen yoghurt
Cola = Flavoured Carbonated water
Sugar coated cereal = Whole grain cereal, Oatmeal with fruit
Potato Chips = Low fat chips, Popcorn, dry pretzels, Veggie chips, Rice Crackers
Sundae topping = Fresh berries/banana, Diet chocolate and
strawberry toppings
Whipped cream = Non-fat milk whipped with a hand blender
Cake = Low fat banana or zucchini bread
Take-away = Home-made burgers, pita pizza’s use an air fryer
Salty Nuts = Raw Nuts baked in oven and salted yourself
Chocolate = Carob, Nutella, dark chocolate sucked in roof of mouth
Lollies = hight fat and protein snack like a shake or a tin of tuna to curb the sugar focus!
White bread = Lavash Breads, Whole Grain sourdough

If you are going out for the night and there is going to be alcohol and high sugar fatty foods, it is OK to indulge on these odd occasions. Here’s a quick recap of what we have discussed;

  1. The best thing to do is to simply plan ahead.
  2. Stick to your set eating plans during the week, but slightly alter it on the day when you are going out.
  3. Eat less or no carbs during the day, and if possible, miss out on your afternoon snack to substitute.
  4. Another important step to take is to undertake some high intensity exercise before the event.
  5. If you do happen to slip-up and are unable to plan ahead, do not believe it is too difficult to get back on track. Once again, the most important thing is not to get annoyed with yourself, but instead just alter your few meal.
  6. Learn from the process and find something that works.

So have a plan and make it happen!

Dion Mychalyn

Club Champion

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