Chocolate, coffee, cheese, chips, wine, beer… the list is endless, all the types of food you might crave.  Now, for most people, there is no reason to ban these from your diet permanently but when you continually find yourself craving them and they can become a regular treat there can be detrimental effects on your health – think inflammation, weight gain, aches and pains and an increased risk of chronic disease.

Here are my top tips to avoid the cravings and put yourself on a path to better health:

  • Avoid artificial sweeteners – these trigger cravings for some people, have a negative impact on gut health and lead to increased fat storage.
  • Eat protein with every meal – not eating enough quality protein can trigger hunger and lead to cravings.
  • Cinnamon – cinnamon helps to regulate blood sugar levels, sprinkle cinnamon on your fruit or with yoghurt, it adds a lovely flavour to many dishes and baked goods.
  • Assess nutritional deficiencies – see a nutritionist to have your diet assessed to ensure it includes all the required macro and micro nutrients.
  • Avoid triggers – if your cravings are triggered by certain places or events, try to avoid them until you have better control over your cravings.
  • You’ve probably noticed cravings often hit when you are bored.  Have a list of activities you can do to distract yourself when the cravings hit – exercise, go for a walk, contact a friend, play a game, even clean or declutter.
  • Understand your motivation – spend some time writing down why you want to eat healthily and the changes you will notice as a result. Refer to this when the craving hits.   Pin it up in a place you look at regularly as a reminder and motivator.
  • Sleep – poor sleep can impact on your willpower, increasing preference for calorie dense foods, decrease metabolic rate, reduce desire to exercise and increase your risk of obesity.
  • Make sure your vitamin D levels are good. Top up your vitamin D by spending time outdoors daily.  Vitamin D has been linked to mood disorders which can lead to cravings.   So when you start to feel a craving coming on – head outdoors and spend 10-15 minutest in the sun!

So try a few of these out, I’d love to hear how you go!