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Post Christmas Cravings 'Be Gone'

It’s the week after Christmas, you’ve eaten way more carbs than usual, drunk a little more alcohol, haven’t been in your normal routine and cravings are out of control. Sound familiar?

Cravings can challenge the journey towards healthier eating habits. However, simple yet effective strategies can help manage and overcome these cravings, getting you back on track towards your health and nutrition goals for 2024.

Here are my 10 top tips for reigning in cravings after the holidays.

  1. Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can sometimes masquerade as hunger, leading to unnecessary snacking. I recommend 2L per day and 600ml for every hour of exercise, as a starting point. Ensure you're adequately hydrated throughout the day rather than gulping back big amounts just a few times per day.

  2. Prioritise Protein: Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, it keeps you feeling full and satisfied for longer, reducing the likelihood of reaching for unhealthy or unnecessary snacks. Aim for at least 30g of protein with every meal by including sources like red meat, chicken, eggs, fish, legumes and tofu.

  3. Start With a Savory Breakfast: Opting for a savory breakfast instead of a sugary one can set a positive tone for the day, stabilise blood sugar levels and reduce risk of cravings later in the day. Choose meals with protein and healthy fats like eggs and vegetables, this Vegan Omelette or these Buckwheat Pancakes.

  4. Mindful Eating: Practice mindful eating by paying attention to hunger cues, chewing your food and eating slowly. Engage your senses while eating, savoring each bite, and allowing yourself to truly enjoy the flavors and textures of your food. This can help prevent overeating and reduce the intensity of cravings.

  5. Eat Fibre-Rich Foods: Incorporate plenty of fibre-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes into your diet. Fibre promotes feelings of fullness, aiding in appetite control and reducing cravings for unhealthy or unnecessary snacks.

  6. Fast for 12 Hours Overnight: If you’re not already doing this, then notice how as you start, your cravings and blood sugars feel better controlled. The overnight fast is the time between your last bite of one day and first bite of the next day. The best way to achieve a 12 hour overnight fast is to ensure you finish eating within two to three hours of bed time.

  7. Stress Management: Find effective ways to manage stress, since stress often leads to emotional eating and cravings for comfort foods. Engage in activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or hobbies that help alleviate stress.

  8. Adequate Sleep: Prioritise getting enough quality sleep. Inadequate sleep disrupts hunger-regulating hormones, potentially increasing cravings for energy dense and high carb foods.

  9. Plan and Prepare: Plan your meals and snacks in advance to avoid impulsive, unhealthy choices. Have nutritious options readily available, making it easier to resist temptation.

  10. Take a Break From Alcohol: It affects sleep quality and reduces inhibitions which makes it a common precursor to unnecessary and unhealthy snacking. You can learn more here.

Ultimately, managing cravings is part physiology and part psychology. Take care of the physiology and notice how more mindful eating habits become achievable again, helping you to get back on with your health and nutrition goals post the Holidays.

It is possible that other factors such as nutrient deficiency or poor gut health could be causing cravings. If you feel something else could be standing in the way of your eating-behaviours and want my support please book a complementary 15 minute Discovery Call.

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