How to Curb Your Cravings
CHOCOLATE CRAVINGS! Seriously, I've been craving chocolate ALL week and as a nutritionist and stubborn lady, I can't just let the cravings win!
I’m going to share some of my own strategies below. FYI you can apply these strategies to other foods, not only chocolate! I used these same strategies for my overconsumption of sweet and salty popcorn a couple years ago. I hope you can relate to the cravings I used to have for sweet and salty popcorn, they would come on late at night or while I was watching TV after dinner. I used to give in to these cravings and quickly these indulgent snacks became a part of my routine. All the pieces would fall into place so easily, the product I liked would be on sale at the grocery store and I’d bring a couple bags home. I lived by myself at the time and was already a graduated and working nutritionist, do you think being educated stopped me from creating this sweet and salty routine? No it did not, but I think it is what brought me out of that habit and I want to share my strategies with you. They might not all work for you but please comment below which ones you're going to try?
In this strategy I think about what aspects of the food am I craving? Sweet? Salty? Warm? Cold? Rich? The list goes on, try and think in this way before you choose an alternate. That way you can be successful in addressing your craving.
If I’m craving the rich taste of chocolate I might substitute with a skim milk latte, something I love that’s frothy but contains nutrients and less calories than even a few squares of chocolate.
If I’m looking for the warm comfort of a hot chocolate (like I was last night after a good session of snowboarding after work) I might choose tea with milk, I switch between decaf or caffeinated depending on time of day.
Here we go, the classic control your portions and you’ll have great nutrition. Well, that’s not always the case but for rich snacks I think it’s a great option where knowledge is power!
Look at the nutrition facts table on your treat, here you want to check the serving size and calories. Adjust the serving size to be between 100-200 calories, take this portion and put the rest away (this will work best with calorie dense foods, if you’re craving lettuce you’ll get a huge portion!). Tip: I keep my treats out of the house or in the freezer, where I rarely look! Enjoy your treat, no need to feel guilty or like you’ve lost control.
Bring out your inner food scientist. Let’s make a “healthier” version of the food you’re craving. Healthy is in the eye of the beholder so I recommend you think about what healthy looks like to you. Is it less sugar? What about less fat? Maybe it’s not less but it’s more nutrients? I’ve always had a sweet tooth so, when I have cravings I'm usually trying to reduce the amount of sugar. Instead of using hot chocolate powder last night, I chose to steam some skim milk with cacao powder. Was it the same as a hot chocolate? No, but it hit the spot for my warm chocolate desire.
Good luck and we'll make it through the winter together!