Food,  Health

Four Ways to Prevent Unhealthy Cravings

Four Ways to Prevent Unhealthy Cravings

From junk food to something a little more sinister, cravings and addictions come in many forms. For example, cravings can be an addiction to things like caffeine, exercise, your phone, drugs, shopping, or getting tattoos, to name a few. Unfortunately, there isn’t one “catch all” for what you can get addicted to, and not all addictions are necessarily bad! Most things are fine in moderation. But when you get that itch, we all know how hard it can be to beat. So here are our tips to successfully beat your cravings, no matter what it is causing it. 

Distance Yourself From the Craving

When you feel a craving, try to distance yourself from it. Nothing is better than a good “out of sight, out of mind” distraction technique. Plus, the busier you are, the less time you’ll spend thinking about whatever you’re addicted to as well. So it’s a win-win situation. 

The best thing to do is find ways to fill up your time and distance yourself from whatever your addiction manifests itself as physically. For example, you can take a walk in the evenings to help get you active in the evening, or you can leave your phone in another room during meals. 

Besides serving as a distraction, physical activity might help reduce the stress contributing to your cravings. There are limits with this tip — we don’t want you to skip meals or do anything unhealthy! 

Talk It Out

It may seem counterproductive to draw attention to your addiction or cravings, but it can help you process why and fight your cravings. At first, you may feel more intense cravings, but you have the power to change the narrative. For example, you don’t have to talk about how ooey-gooey the cookies from your favorite bakery are, but you can talk about how your habit of buying them is getting expensive. Frame them in a less desirable light, and eventually, your brain will start seeing them as a negative thing instead of a craving. 

Having a support system or a buddy to help you through it and keep you accountable is huge for every addiction. They’re someone you can turn to if you need a distraction or want words of encouragement. They can also help push you to take more drastic measures, such as speaking to a clinic if you need more professional help quitting caffeine, smoking, drinking, or any more problematic addictions. 

You can even find self-help groups online if you don’t have a friend or family member you’re comfortable talking with. After all, not all accountability buddies are ready to admit they’re addicted to coffee too! 

Four Ways to Prevent Unhealthy Cravings

Eat Something Healthy

Eating is the ultimate form of distraction, and an empty stomach even triggers some cravings. But, as we said earlier, not all cravings and addictions are necessarily bad either. Some, like a sweet tooth, are fine in moderation. But if you’re concerned about how much you crave unhealthy foods, then you can try swapping them out with healthy alternatives to keep your stomach and taste buds happy. 

Same food, different (and healthier!) versions: 

  • Try oven-baked or air-fried instead of greasy fried food
  • Eat lower-sugar versions of your favorite cookies and sweets 
  • Eat smaller portions 
  • Try pizza with 100% whole grain crust or cauliflower crust
    • Maybe skip the fattier and greasings toppings too?
  • Eat potatoes with the skin for the extra fiber
  • Try saltless fries
  • Matcha vs coffee

Get Enough Sleep

We all love to turn our minds off when we’re tired, and we often resort to our phones, TV, eating, or other more mindless habits when we do so. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental if you’re addicted to any of the above. 

Therefore, getting enough sleep and preventing slower days can help. Getting a good night’s sleep can be the best thing for avoiding cravings! Why? Well, sleep affects our hormones. For example, a lack of sleep causes an increase in Ghrelin, the hormone that causes hunger, and a decrease in Leptin, an appetite-suppressant. 

A lack of sleep can also increase cortisol, which causes stress. Therefore, if you want to prevent your cravings naturally, it’s imperative to get a good night’s sleep. But, again, your phone can help — you can set the alarm for bedtime and alarm to stop looking at screens or have an app that helps track your sleep. 

If you don’t want to use more technology, make a nightly routine. It’s okay to be an adult with a bedtime! You’ll wake up feeling more refreshed and will have a better chance of not craving anything the next day, thanks to more balanced hormones. 

Above all, remember that some cravings are usual. It’s completely fine to want more salt, sugar, phone time, or tattoos now and then. Sometimes, it’s even your body’s way of telling you that you’re deficient in a specific nutrient. However, it would be best if you managed constant cravings to have a healthy lifestyle. We hope these tips helped you! 

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