You’re crushing it in the gym. Even more satisfying, you’re keeping the promise you made to eat clean. But sometimes you get the urge to splurge on something sweet, something fried, something loaded with empty calories. You. Are. Not. Alone. But help is here because we asked the NW Fitness Team how they combat their junk food cravings so you can see how the experts stay on their fit & healthy meal plans.
• Eat more. I find that most often junk food cravings subside when you increase your overall calories and eat more nutrient dense foods. More fruits, vegetables and protein keeps you satisfied so you won’t be tempted to splurge in between meals.
• Drink more water. Don’t mistake dehydration for hunger cravings. Try to drink 4 liters of water each day.
• Get more sleep. The longer you are awake and tired, the more cravings you will have. Try to pick a bed time and stay consistent. Get at least 7hrs of sleep each night.
• Putting BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) in my water. BCAAs reduce the stress hormone cortisol. High cortisol levels can lead to low energy levels and cravings for sugary foods. Specifically, leucine, one of the essential amino acids in BCAAs), sends signals to the brain that your body has sufficient nutrients so that you don’t feeling hungry.
• Tea with Stevia. This satisfies my craving for something sweet, plus I get more fluids into my body. And it’s a great way to relax and unwind.
• Get out of the house. Some people eat out of boredom so it’s good to just get out and do something to keep your mind occupied. Or if you’re used to snacking while watching TV.
• Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. One of the most common reasons for feeling unnecessary hunger and/or junk food cravings is because your body needs energy from lack of sleep. If your body is not getting it from sleep, it will send signals to you that you need a recharge in the form of hunger or junk food cravings.
• Stay hydrated. When you don’t drink enough water, your body could receive mixed signals in different forms, including junk food cravings. Drinking plenty of water can also keep you feeling full, which will keep any junk food cravings at bay.
• Keep healthy alternatives to junk food in the house. Protein cookies, fruit and other fit-friendly sweets are always good to have close at hand. One of my favorite “go-to treats” is plain, non-fat Greek yogurt mixed with protein power, almonds and dried oatmeal.