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I consider myself a pretty healthy person. I am careful about what I eat – focusing on a low-carb, clean, whole foods based diet. I stay pretty active – we do a lot of outdoorsy things as a family on the weekends. I hardly ever get sick, except when I run myself ragged working and trying to get everything done and then my body rebels against me for not getting enough sleep. (There’s just aren’t enough hours in the day you guys!) But I do have one vice. One habit that I’m always trying to kick…
Sugar is not good for you, it’s pretty plain and simple. Of course in moderation it’s fine, and even some sources of sugar can be beneficial. But let’s face it, when I’m craving something sugary, it’s usually an entire batch of chocolate chip cookies or something to that effect. Sugary foods and junk foods are totally an addiction, and to deal with my addiction I have to be conscious of it every time I step into the kitchen, or walk out the door. Luckily, there are easy ways to help fight those cravings and kick the junk food and sugar habit. Here are my top seven:
1) Find out what you’re really craving. Most of the time, what you think you want isn’t actually what your body needs. Craving sugary foods or salty foods can mean a number of different vitamin or mineral deficiencies. The best way to combat this is to make sure your supplements hit all of the important ones.
This chart below is a good reminder for when you feel a craving coming on. Try one of the suggested foods next time!
2. Drink lots of water. This is one that everyone knows in theory, but seems to have a little trouble with it in practice. I know that I probably don’t drink enough water most days, but it is definitely one of the easiest ways to curb sugar and junk food cravings. One of the techniques that works well for me is to make deals with myself. For example, if I want my morning coffee, I need to down 20 ounces of water first. Boom. Two glasses done before my day even starts.
3. Sweat. According to research published in the International Journal of Obesity, High-intensity exercise may actually decrease food cravings. And well, the only thing you have to lose when you exercise is weight. So, why the heck not?
4. Keep the junk out. This one is kind of self-explanatory. Don’t want to eat junk? Don’t buy it! Not for yourself, not for your kids, and not as a special treat to keep on hand for your spouse. Keep the food in your home junk-free and make those treats a once in a while thing that doesn’t hang around in the pantry.
5. Find healthy alternatives. Baked veggies or cheese slices make great crunchy snacks, and you can sweeten up your tea or coffee with a good stevia. Dried fruits like cranberry are a great little sweet snack, plus they have lots of fiber to help keep your insides healthy. You can eat a small handful by themselves, or have them in a salad.
6. Be accountable. Get friends involved in your healthy living journey. Join some kind of challenge or group that will help keep you accountable. Share your meals and activities so that people can offer support, suggestions, or just cheer you on and motivate you.
7. Be prepared. Don’t get caught at 1:00pm in your car, hungry with no food and only fast food restaurants around you. If you know you’re going to be out and about at prime eating times, pack something to eat and drink. Why set yourself yourself up for failure?
“But Angela, I’m so busy! I don’t have time to meal prep!”
Same. As much as I love cooking and making things from scratch, I just don’t have the time to do it as much as I used to. But I have secrets and shortcuts. And I’m not afraid to go to Costco and buy healthy foods that are perfect for me to grab and go, like these Ready Pac elevAte salads.
elevĀte salads come in a variety of clean-eating options, including Vegan, Non-GMO Project verified, Certified gluten free, and USDA organic options. They’re all made from natural ingredients that are full of flavor and in a package that is perfect to grab and go. It even comes with a fork, so you don’t have to worry about digging through your car to find one. And oh that honey mustard dressing is perfection!