5 Tips for Overcoming Junk Food Cravings

Eating clean is a lifestyle that becomes easier over time. But, even the most committed to eating clean still experience cravings for not so healthy treats. And although it’s okay to indulge in “junk” foods every once in a while, it’s best to avoid them for the most part.

Here are a few tips to overcome your junk food cravings when they hit you:

5 Tips for Overcoming Junk Food Cravings
  1. Keep Healthy, Convenient Food on Hand

    One of the big allures of junk food is that you can usually grab it quickly and easily, often when you’re on the go, and eat it without a second thought. Try keeping healthy foods on hand that are both easy and tasty. Fruit can satisfy a sweet tooth- wash a few pieces at a time and store them in an easy to access location so you can eat them immediately when hunger hits you.

    Keep other easy clean items on hand, such as nuts (eaten in moderation), hard boiled eggs (already peeled), or chopped veggies.  When you make a meal, make an extra serving to freeze so you have a variety of these healthy frozen meals ready to be used when you don’t have time to prepare one.

  2.  Don’t Let Yourself Get Too Hungry

    Going too long between meals can sabotage you when you’re trying to eat well. When you’re really hungry and those overwhelming pangs of hunger hit suddenly, you’re much less likely to make wise food choices than if you were prepared and just beginning to detect the feeling of hunger. Eat your meals at consistent times each day and you will find yourself better able to resist temptation.

  3. Have Substitutes Ready for Your Biggest Temptations

    Speaking of temptations, we all have certain junk foods that have a strong appeal to us personally. Choose a healthier substitute for that food and keep it on hand to enjoy when you are feeling the pull of the unhealthier version.

    If chocolate is your weakness, make frozen chocolate cups out of ingredients such as almond butter, coconut oil, cocoa powder, vanilla and honey. Mix and put into tiny freezer molds. When you want that specific chocolate taste, you can pop one or two out, enjoy, and feel the craving pass.

  4. Indulge Occasionally

    Eating clean is a lifestyle and not a diet, there will occasionally be times you indulge in what you’re really craving, and that’s OK.

    Keep these times few and far between, but don’t cut them out completely. Have a small piece of apple pie, a scoop of ice cream or a single serving of potato chips and eat them slowly and mindfully.

    Restricting yourself too much can backfire by leading to completely “falling off the wagon”.  Enjoy your treat, then get back on track without any feelings of guilt that may sabotage your big picture eating goals.

  5. Drink a Glass of Water

    Often when you feel hungry and you’re craving a certain food, you’re actually dehydrated and thirsty. Keep a timer on your phone reminding you to drink water or fill a water bottle and sip on it throughout the day. If you feel a craving, promise yourself that you’ll first drink two full glasses of water. By the time you’re done, the craving will have likely passed.

When you junk food cravings, it’s often a signal that you are not functioning in total balance.

Check all of your lifestyle habits. Ask yourself whether or not you are getting enough sleep…or if your craving might be a result of boredom…or maybe it’s your body’s reaction to not getting enough exercise?

As you can see, there are so many simple things you can do to reduce or eliminate you junk food cravings. Try a few of them next time the feeling hits you.

With love,

Dr. Marissa

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