If you crave foods that aren't so good for you, it can seem a daily struggle to eat healthier. But there are ways to change your eating habits - without giving up all of the foods you love.
Here are three tips to curb those bothersome cravings, and keep yourself on track with your healthy eating goals.
That's right - I said eat more! This probably goes against everything you've heard about losing weight and eating healthy, but the trick is to eat more of the right things. Think foods that have a lot of volume, but not a lot of calories. Yes, we're talking about vegetables. :-)
Think about it. A 400-calorie meal can consist of 4 Reese's peanut butter cups. Your chocolate craving may be satisfied, but how full do you think you will feel? Do you think you'll probably be back at the fridge door in a few minutes? Probably.
What about a huge salad full of veggies and grilled chicken and tasty herbs tossed with an olive oil vinaigrette dressing? This type of meal can actually contain fewer calories, while leaving you plenty full and satisfied!
When choosing foods, choose those with a lot of volume (salads and veggies), plus some high-quality protein (organic grass-fed chicken, beef, or wild-caught fish), and good fats (olive oil dressings, hard-boiled eggs from grass-fed hens, etc. - see Tip #2). Eating this way will leave you full, satisfied, happy, and healthy - instead of tired, sluggish, and still craving something.
Tip #2: Eat More Fat
Yep - you heard me! Again, this may go against all of the "conventional wisdom" when it comes to losing weight and eating healthy, but eating enough healthy fat is key to your weight loss efforts. Fat is the most filling nutrient you can eat, it digests slowly, provides sustained energy, and makes you feel satisfied. You can gain more hours of productive energy and mental focus from consuming a little bit of healthy fat, than you can from a whole slew of sugary donuts and coffee.
Adding healthy fats to your meals - like nut butters and oils, organic butter, avocados, and whole eggs - can make you feel full faster, and keep you feeling full for longer, keeping those nasty cravings at bay. It will also provide your body with energy, and teach it to burn fat, rather than storing it.
Tip #3: Eat Foods that Digest Slowly
Eating slow-digesting foods is another great way to curb those cravings. If you eat foods that digest more slowly, you will feel full for longer, meaning not only will you avoid cravings for junk foods, but you may even be less hungry at your next meal, which can keep you from overeating.
So what can you eat that digests slowly - besides fat, as I mentioned above? As usual, whole foods are the winners! High-fiber veggies, whole-food proteins (i.e. naturally raised meats), and healthy fats are what will keep you feeling satisfied, full, and happy - without even a thought to those sneaky cravings. Plus they're just delicious, and you'll be amazed how healthy and sated you can feel simply from eating right!
By following these tips, and keeping your home well stocked with healthy, whole, naturally delicious foods, you'll reduce your cravings and junk food binges, and create a healthier, happier you.
For more tips on cutting out the junk foods in your diet and building healthy eating habits, be sure to check out our previous posts on "How to Eat Less Crap."
To your health!
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