5 Ways To Stop Craving Junk Food!
Everyone knows this feeling. You finally want to get on your health journey. You are committed to start eating a healthy and balanced diet. You have your work out schedule all set up. And then you realise there is one thing standing in your way – The craving for junk food – the kind of food you know is not good for you.
But why is this the case?
A long time ago, when food wasn’t as available as it is now, people sometimes had to go days without eating. Therefore, it was important to eat food, which is high in energy. So today, every time we are hungry, our body tends to crave food that is high in energy. The type of food we crave is the one that will fill us up and keep us satisfied.
So how can we stop craving for junk food?
1. Find substitutes
Who says you can’t enjoy your food when you are on your healthy life journey? I am here to tell you that you can! How? Find a substitute that is generally better for you!
Here are some examples:
- Dark Chocolate instead of milk chocolate
- Nice cream instead of ice cream
- Baked potatoes instead of fries
- Oats instead of granola
- Dried fruit instead of sugar
2. Eat food, which is high in volume
As I explained to you before, when we are hungry, we tend to crave food that fills us up. What we can do is to add whole foods to our diet, which has a high fiber content and adds up in volume. This will make us feel full and happy.
- (sweet) potatoes
- all different kind of veggies (example: zucchini pasta)
- popcorn (no added fat)
- 3. Increase your protein intake
3. Increase your protein intake
High-protein diets increase the secretion of our satiety hormones (GIP, GLP-1). Therefore by slightly increasing your protein intake you can end up filling more satisfied and fuller for longer (read more). Great foods to add to your diet are legumes, beans, tofu, tempeh or seitan.
4. Drink plenty of water or tea
Sometimes we crave unhealthy food, without any real reason. We might not even be hungry, but rather bored and we just feel like munching on something. And sometimes we confuse hunger with thirst, because we haven’t had enough water throughout the day. The best way to fight that, is to constantly sip on water or sugar-free tea during the day. This will calm down your cravings.
5. Apply the 80 – 20 rule
And lastly, I am not here to tell you what to eat and what not to eat. If you feel like you are experiencing the craziest cravings ever (yes I am talking to you girls on your time of the month), then have whatever it is your are craving. What works best for me is to follow the 80-20 rule. 80% of the time I eat healthy and whole foods. 20% of the time I allow myself to indulge and have whatever I am craving, which can be vegan burgers, fries or ice cream.
The most important takeaway here is that it is important to not stress yourself out about every single little thing you are eating. Life is about balance. A lot can be achieved with determination and consistency. But it is important to also let go once in a while and enjoy the process.
If there is one day, where you couldn’t handle your cravings, the world won’t end. Just make sure to get back on track!