The festive season is behind me and what remains is this pesky, growling stomach. Eating, eating, and overeating through December has left me with a seemingly insatiable need to eat constantly.
It just has to STOP.
In an attempt to put a halt on the insanity, I sifted through tons of ways to curb cravings after Christmas and New Year’s. Some ways were downright crazy and complicated, but I came up with a list of 14 ideas that seemed totally simple to incorporate into daily life:
1. Plan your meals. If you have a meal plan for the entire week prepared in advance, you will have more control over what you eat and be less tempted to get takeaway or give into a salt-packed freezer meal.
2. Eat periodically. Schedule your meals and try to eat around the same time every day. Don’t skip meals, as this will make you hungrier and create more cravings. Eat three well-balanced, portion-controlled meals and two snacks daily.
3. Hydrate. First thing in the morning it’s important to drink plenty of water before getting your day started. This will help with digestion and make you feel full first thing in the morning. In many cases, the feeling of hunger is muddled with dehydration, so drink a tall glass of water before every meal to prevent overeating.
4. Journal your meals. Tracking what you eat is crucial. This easy tip helps you monitor your eating and kilojoule intake, and will prevent you from over-eating.
5. Don’t skimp on breakfast. There’s a reason it’s called the most important meal of the day. A substantial, filling breakfast is the best way to start your day and will keep you fuelled throughout the day.
6. Get enough sleep. Being well rested will help keep your sugar levels intact and will reduce stress.
7. Never go to the supermarket hungry. Making a shopping list will help you stay focused on the meal plans. Sticking to your list will trump any urges you might have to pick up items you really don’t need. This tip will keep your pantry and fridge stocked with healthy, encouraging ingredients.
8. Switch to wholegrains. Fibre-rich wholegrains will make you feel fuller for longer. Be sure to swap your bread, pasta and breakfast cereals for wholegrain varieties.
9. Gargle with mouthwash. Practising dental hygiene throughout the day will promote a clean mouth. Plus you won’t want to spoil a minty fresh mouth with unnecessary snacking.
10. Cut out processed foods. Processed foods, packed with sugar, salt, preservatives and artificial flavourings are extremely addictive and loaded with empty calories.
11. Eat lean proteins. Make sure you are eating lean proteins with most meals. This will fill you up and keep you energised throughout the day.
12. Ditch the soft drink. Soft drink will cause you to bloat, and the sugars will make you crash. If you are craving a flavoured beverage, opt for lemon water, all-natural fruit juices or herbal tea.
13. Eat your greens. Whether you’re blending them into morning smoothies or tossing them into salads, leafy greens are packed with vitamins and minerals that help suppress hunger. Make sure to incorporate a couple cups of greens into your daily diet.
14. Exercise regularly. If you stay active it will encourage you to continue with your clean eating plan and you will be less likely to give in to cravings.
Got any ideas for kicking cravings to the curb? Let me know in the comments!
More tips for healthy eating: