- Don’t Skip Meals – eat regularly to avoid blood sugar crashes that can cause cravings and intense hunger later. Keep a stash of healthy snacks, pack meals for work, shop and prepare ahead of time for dinner – and don’t skip breakfast! Note: some people incorporate intermittent fasting, this is a structured nutritional approach and isn’t the same as simply skipping meals throughout the day. Do your own research and consult with a doctor.
- Do Get Ahead of Your Cravings – with healthy alternatives and moderation. Incorporate different flavors – sweet, salty, savory, tart – and don’t be afraid to get creative! Sweet potatoes or apples with cinnamon and nutmeg, fresh berries in a salad, grilled pineapple with a chicken dish, there are so many ways you can enjoy flavor while staying healthy. If you’re going to go for something truly decadent, practice the two M’s: Moderation and Mindfulness. Eat slowly, and without distraction (especially the digital kind — put the phone down and turn off the TV), really savor each and every delicious bite. Also begin with something healthy and filling, that way you’re less likely to overindulge in the higher calorie / less healthy splurge.
- Don’t Forget Your Vitamins – did you know that nutrient deficiencies can cause food cravings? Vitamin D, magnesium, and B vitamins are especially important, check with your doctor to get your levels checked if you have specific concerns. Also make sure to opt for a high quality supplement, and remember that food and sunlight are our best sources but may not always be enough.
- Do Get Enough Sleep – did you know that being sleep deprived can throw your hunger / satiation hormones out of whack? Ghrelin is our body’s hunger hormone; it has been shown to increase when we aren’t getting enough sleep. Leptin, which is our fullness or satiation hormone, decreases when we aren’t getting adequate zzz’s. Sleep deprivation can also have a negative impact on insulin sensitivity and blood sugar. Make proper sleep a priority – both your waistline and your stress levels will thank you.
- Don’t Beat Yourself Up – or “punish” yourself with extreme deprivation to counteract overeating or splurging, just get back on track with healthy choices. Many people have a tendency to get down on themselves; mistakes only equal failure when we give up.
- Do Consider Gut Health – did you know that your gut bacteria could be playing a role in your cravings? It is also involved in mood, which can also impact our eating habits and choices. Additionally, our overall health is tied very closely to our gut health in many ways, including inflammation, immune function, autoimmune issues, nutrient absorption, and of course, digestion! Stay ahead of your cravings and boost overall health by cultivating a healthy gut. High quality probiotics, especially from fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi, plus bone broth make for an excellent gut-friendly boost. Bone broth heals the lining of the gut while providing many beneficial amino acids and other nutrients, which also supports bone and joint health. Probiotics help keep your body healthy and functioning well. Some strains of probiotics have also been linked to specific functions, including anxiety, women’s health, depression, and other areas, so do some research if you have other issues you’re trying to manage.
- Don’t Forget to Breathe – and pause a moment to check in with yourself. Are you really hungry, or are you tired, bored, or feeling emotional? Drink some water and reflect for a moment, if you’re truly seeing the signs of hunger – like a rumbling tummy, headache, irritability – then reach for something nutrient-rich and balanced.
- Do Stay Hydrated – sometimes thirst manifests as hunger. Make sure you are drinking water consistently throughout the day, and consider electrolytes to replenish during / after an intense workout.
As a private fitness gym in Central Florida, we offer guidance and support for our training clients not only with their workouts, but with nutrition as well. Not sure what to eat to lose weight, build muscle, and/or improve health? Contact one of our expert personal trainers for a consultation!
We are located in the heart of Altamonte Springs, just minutes from Longwood, Casselberry, Winter Springs, Apopka, Maitland, and the Greater Orlando area.