Eating clean is a lifestyle, and although you may indulge in junk foods every once in a while, you will want to avoid them for the most part. This can be difficult in our food-saturated culture. Here are a few ideas and tips on how to overcome your junk food cravings when they hit you.
Keep Healthy, Convenient Food on Hand
One of the big allures of junk food is that you can usually grab it easily and eat it without a second thought. Keep healthy foods on hand that are both easy and tasty. Fruit can satisfy a sweet tooth, and you can wash a few pieces at a time and store them on the counter so that you can eat them immediately when hunger hits you.
Keep other easy clean items on hand, such as nuts and even items you have previously baked and stored in the freezer, ready to be eaten. When you meal prep, make an extra serving and keep a variety of these healthy frozen meals ready to be used when you don't have time to prepare one.
Don't Let Yourself Get Too Hungry
Going too long between meals can be a bad idea when trying to eat well. A person who feels like they are starving is much less likely to make wise food choices than someone who is prepared and just beginning to detect the feeling of hunger. Eat your meals at a consistent time and you will find yourself better able to resist temptation.
Have Substitutes for Your Biggest Temptations
Speaking of temptations, we all have certain junk foods that have a strong appeal to us personally. Choose a substitute, and keep it on hand to enjoy when you are feeling the pull of the unhealthier version.
If chocolate is your weakness, make frozen chocolate cups out of ingredients such as almond butter, coconut oil, cocoa powder, vanilla and honey. Mix and put into tiny silicone freezer molds so that when you want that specific chocolate taste, you can pop one or two out, enjoy, and feel the craving pass.
Because eating clean is a lifestyle and not a diet, there will be occasional times when you indulge in what you are really craving. Keep these times few and far between, but don't cut them out completely. Have a small piece of apple pie, a scoop of ice cream or a single serving of potato chips and eat them slowly and mindfully. Enjoy your treat and then get back on track without any feelings of guilt that may sabotage your eating goals.
Drink a Glass of Water
Often when we feel hungry and when we are craving various foods, we are actually thirsty and dehydrated. Keep a timer on your phone reminding you to drink water, or fill a jug and sip on it throughout the day. If you feel a craving, promise yourself that you will first drink two full glasses of water. By the time you are done, the craving may have passed.
When you have a craving, it is often a signal that you are not functioning in total balance. Check all of your lifestyle habits. Ask yourself whether you are getting enough sleep, or whether your craving might be boredom or your body's reaction to not getting enough exercise. If you have a craving, there are many steps you can take which can reduce or eliminate it. Try a few of them next time the feeling hits you.