Exercise Physiologist and Nutrition Coach, Jesse Chandler discusses some great strategies to help you overcome your cravings and beat the overeating cycle that is stopping you reach your health goals.

Cravings are usually linked to junk food and over eating. Mix this combination together, and it’s easy to see what happens next. You feel defeated, like you have failed and maybe you even feel some shame. Everyone can relate to this, but there are ways to overcome your cravings and gain back control.

Firstly, it’s important to consider what you are eating for the rest of the day. Are you nourishing your body with enough protein, carbohydrates, fats and vegetables in each meal?

Are you giving yourself filling meals that leave you feeling satisfied?

Often, if we try to restrict certain food groups, like carbohydrates or fats, this can trigger cravings later in the day causing you to consume sugary or high fat foods. For example, if you skip the carbohydrates at lunch it may leave you craving sugar dense snacks in the afternoon for energy. If you consider adding some complex carbohydrates to your lunch, this may reduce the afternoon cravings as your body has the energy it needs to get through the day.

Next, are there consistent patterns to your cravings?

Say for example, it’s time for your usual 10am meeting and you know it’s going to be a long one. You always feel that you absolutely need that large coffee with extra sugar to get you through. Or, it’s 8pm and you aren’t quite satisfied from dinner and you always find yourself reaching for dessert.

If there are specific patterns to your cravings, consider how you could change this pattern, or replace it with healthier options. Could your 10am coffee be changed to a small flat white with only one sugar? Could you have a bigger dinner to keep you satisfied for longer into the evening? Or have some Greek yoghurt with berries instead of ice cream? Consider some ways to swap choices and change unhealthy habits.

Lastly, try to wait out your craving.

Ask yourself, am I actually hungry? Wait 5 minutes and re-consider this question. Consider whether you are hungry, or simply bored. If you are bored, distract yourself and remember that your next meal is only 1 hour away (for example), the food will always be there.

By overcoming your cravings you are one huge step closer to your health goals, try to nourish yourself with each meal, consider any patterns to your cravings and lastly – distract yourself until these cravings pass.

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