I think of the October to December stretch as one big non-stop Festive Season. Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, New Years and all the celebrations in between can be one heck of a party gauntlet. As with any gauntlet, the challenge is thrown down when it comes to food cravings during this time of year. We often crave sugar, salt, carbohydrates or rich comfort foods. My biggest food
crush craving is chocolate! With all of festive foods in circulation (…Cue the aps, dips and holiday baking…) it can set us up for a cycle of eating our greatest indulgences.
It’s alright to enjoy our favourite treats every now and then, however when cravings become incessant and a daily struggle, this can throw off our efforts in healthy eating. Unchecked food cravings can leave us wanting more feel good food and this cycle is tough to break.
Luckily we can build a strong foundation for balance within our bodies to quell cravings. Here’s my top four solutions to satisfy food cravings.
SOLUTION #1 – REGULAR NUTRIENT DENSE MEALS
Let’s start with the frequency of our meals. If we skip a meal, or don’t eat enough nutrient dense foods at a meal, we feel hungrier as the day goes on because of a blood sugar imbalance. It becomes easier to succumb to a craving and make food choices that will help us feel good and give us a little burst of energy. In addition, we are more susceptible to experiencing stronger cravings later in the day and in the evening when our meals are not balanced.
To prevent this from happening, eat regular meals through the day and add snacks between meals if needed. Choose nutrient dense foods like non-salad veggies, nuts, seeds, lean protein (i.e. eggs, fish, poultry), beans and healthy fats like avocado and nut/seed butter.
SOLUTION #2 – EXERCISE REGULARLY
There is something really special that happens biochemically when we exercise. The body releases hormones and mediators that help control our appetite, balance blood sugar, improve energy and optimize our mood. These physiological responses significantly diminish cravings and give us the grit to sail through our day without that hankering for something more.
Exercise routinely (at least 3 times a week) and ensure you are working up a good sweat each time. This is a sure sign that you are hitting an effective intensity level for your body.
SOLUTION #3 – HORMONE HELP
There is a significant amount of influence our hormone balance has on the intensity of food cravings we experience. Most women experience heightened food cravings with PMS, while pregnant, after having a baby or during menopause. However, both men and women can struggle with food cravings if they are not sleeping well, if they have Thyroid and/or Adrenal imbalances, or all of these.
Maintaining proper hormone balance is tremendously helpful in the resolution of food cravings. There are many safe, natural and effective options that address hormone balance. This is something that is best done during a visit with me.
You can also learn more about hormone balancing through one of my November Webinars:
Click Here to Register: OPTIMIZING METABOLISM: THYROID & ADRENAL BALANCE
Click Here to Register: SOLUTIONS FOR FEMALE HEALTH CONCERNS
SOLUTION #4 – SHAKE IT OFF
Stress can be a major influence for cravings. The cravings can be governed by our mind. Indulging may make us feel good but it is always a temporary fix. If the stress is still there the cycle can continue. It’s important we find ways to manage our stress and negative emotions, experience authentic happiness within and feel comfortable in our own skin. This is no easy feat, but there are ways to work our way along this path.
Health is a work in progress. By starting now you can start resolving your food cravings and create a good balance to help support healthier eating now and over the holidays. If cravings have thrown you off track, or seem to be in the way of your health goals, remember that every passing moment is a chance to start over and there are many options to build your resilience.