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  • Writer's pictureMackenzie Martin

Know Your Cravings

Cravings can be tricky.

The cravings we try to dismiss, aka: the 'naughty' ones, can sometimes be satisfied by replacing whatever it is that we're craving with a healthier alternative.

Other times, we're better off having exactly what we're craving in a portion-controlled amount. I recommend this approach for satisfying a craving if you REALLY want something specific and you know nothing else will satisfy truly you. Just have a little bit of that ice cream because if you try satisfying it with something else and it's just not doing the trick, you'll wind up eating the ice cream PLUS whatever else you tried to satisfy yourself with.

That's a recipe for overeating.

BUT, if you're prone to binge eating and haven't yet figured out how to control that....1, go give my beat binge eating post a read & hopefully it can help, & 2, a better option would be to replace your craving altogether (to avoid eating the whole carton of ice cream).

So it's important to know how you respond to cravings and finding ways to overcome them, why you're craving the things you crave (aka, what your body might actually NEED), and what healthier alternatives you could replace them with.

So, onto the common cravings...

Craving: Chocolate.

What you need: magnesium-rich foods.

Healthy alternatives: Nuts, seeds, and leafy greens are great sources of magnesium and can help satisfy a chocolate craving. But, if you really want that chocolate, go for dark chocolate that's 60%+ cocoa. *the more intense the flavor, the less it takes to satisfy the craving*

Craving: Bread & Pasta.

What you need: nitrogen.

Healthy alternatives: Chia seeds, nuts, beans, and salmon are high in nitrogen, so they can help satisfy your 'need' for bread or pasta. But if bread or pasta is a non-negotiable, go for whole wheat instead of white, and try to find ones with 5g+ fiber per serving.

Craving: Fatty & Oily fast food.

What you need: Omega-3.

Healthy alternatives: Chia & flax seeds, walnuts, salmon and other fatty-fish will help satisfy your want for greasy and fried food. It's fine to have your go-to hangover cure every once in a while *in moderation*, though. We've all been there.

Craving: Sugar & Sweets.

What you need: Protein & fiber to stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Healthy alternatives: plain Greek yogurt, clean protein bars, healthy homemade desserts or bliss balls are all great snacks to combat a sugar craving and fill you up. Eating whole fruit like peaches, grapes, apples, melon, cherries, etc. every day is the best way to keep sugar cravings at bay.

Craving: Savory, Salty Snacks.

What you need: Chloride-rich foods.

Healthy alternatives: Feta cheese, celery, olives, sea salt are all rich in chloride, so snack on any of those for a healthy alternative to processed 'junk' food. If you do want something more snack-like, popcorn is a great savory replacement for salty food favs like chips or pretzels. Either pop the kernels yourself with or without a little olive or coconut oil, all the spices, and a little salt; OR if you want one from a bag, my FAVORITE brand is Lesser Evil, which is a much healthier option most other bagged popcorns on the market.

So next time you feel a craving coming on, hopefully this can help you recognize what you actually need.

& remember that if you really, reeeally want something, don't restrict yourself!

Have it, enjoy every bite, & make the next thing you eat something healthy.

xo Mackenzie.

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