Monday, January 26, 2015

Conquering Unhealthy Food Cravings #dishthefit

Cravings. They are a battle for non-pregnant people and pregnant women alike. It just so happens that my pregnancy with Baby #2 has been full of them! 

My first pregnancy wasn't this craving-crazy. From mac & cheese to eggs with toast to popcorn, Chinese food and one day it was even Spaghettios (gross, I know...), I've been all over the board this time.

Some view pregnancy as a free ticket to cave in to all of your cravings but that just creates more trouble when it comes to losing the baby weight. Plus, baby is eating everything you do and that is motivation enough to make healthy choices!

The below Bible verse comes to mind when making food choices (and any choices in life!). I have the freedom to eat what I want and cave into cravings because, hey, I'm pregnant! But is it beneficial for the baby and myself? Is it constructive in working towards my fitness goals? Am I honoring God with my body by doing this?
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 1 CORINTHIANS 10:23
It's so timely that we are sharing our ways of overcoming unhealthy temptations or cravings this week at Jessica's and Jill's link-up, the Fit Switch. #dishthefit


5 Ways to Battle Unhealthy Food Cravings

Pregnant or not, here are a few of my approaches to handling unhealthy food cravings!

1. Exercise.

On days that I exercise, it's easier to eat healthy. I'm not sure why that is. Endorphins, perhaps? A good workout distracts me and keeps the cravings at bay... for a while at least.

Ready to head out for a winter run with the jogging stroller and the dog.
#21weekspregnant

2. Stay Hydrated.

Dehydration can actually be mistaken as a sugar craving. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and are well-hydrated before reaching for that treat.

3. Rest Well.

Being overly tired makes your body crave a quick energy boost that usually comes in the form of sugar or other carbs. If possible, do something to rest your body and mind. That can be easier said than done for parents of little ones! E always rests very well during jogging stroller runs. As I'm sweating like a pig running through the snow, he peacefully snoozes... I'm thankful for a content stroller passenger!


4. Choose a Healthier Substitute.

To satisfy the craving, opt for a healthier alternative. Craving ice cream? Try some frozen yogurt. Craving mac and cheese? I buy "organic" mac and cheese to feel a little less guilty and then add spinach and ham to make it slightly more nutritious.


5. Indulge in Moderation.

Now and then it's okay to give in and have a treat. Confession: I had a Oreo Birthday Cake mini-blizzard from Dairy Queen on Sunday and I don't even feel bad. Live a little and let yourself have a treat, just don't let it become a daily habit!

How do you conquer unhealthy food cravings?

Linking up at the Fit Dish link-up.

21 comments:

  1. I try to use water to divert cravings or just stay busy and work through it!

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    1. Yes - those are great techniques, Amy!

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  2. Great tips on how to stay in check! I hope when I finally go through pregnancy I am able to keep my cravings under control and not see it as a free pass. :)

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    1. Thanks, Erin! While pregnant, I've found that exercise really helps to keep the cravings under control - it's probably the best method for me personally. It's such a touchy time for body image and exercise helps to have a more positive body image + prevent emotional eating for me!

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    2. I will definitely keep this in mind when my time comes! It's an amazing time, but I know so many women struggle with things more while they are expecting. Thanks for the advice!

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  3. looking good! I am a firm believer that a good night sleep wards off a lot of evils and bad food choices is one of them! Great tips! All things in moderation right?! :)

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    1. Oh definitely - sleep wards off so much bad! Less crankiness, less excessive caffeine consumption, less bad food choices and a happier household altogether :)

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  4. I really appreciate your perspective on 'I have the right to do anything, but not everything is beneficial or constructive.' That is empowering, and thanks for sharing it. Shoot, that might need to go on my inspiration board! And, you are doing great with your pregnancy cravings. All I wanted was processed carbs for a few months, but, we got through it. Keep up the awesome work, fit sistah!

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    1. That verse is so empowering - it's a great reminder that every decision we make makes a difference! We can choose God's way or the way of our flesh. Definitely a great one for the inspiration board! The book "Made to Crave" first introduced me to the insight on that verse :)

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  5. Being overtired seems to be a big eating problem for me...I think if I just eat I will perk up. SO NOT THE CASE. However, the more active I am, the better I eat!

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    1. I agree! Eating junk just gives me a sugar crash in the end!

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  6. Perfect bible verse and great tips here! I especially love the Garmin picture background of your sweet little stroller passenger :) I've tried running with my grandson a few times...that certainly intensifies the run! Good for you!

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    1. I have decided that stroller running is a cardio + strength training workout, all in one! Thanks for stopping by, Diane!

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  7. Great post! That passage really hit home. We all have choices to make, we need to consider their impact. You have me thinking :)

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    1. I'm glad that verse spoke to you, Jennifer! I had read 1 Corinthians through before, but it wasn't until I read it again during the "Made to Crave" study that it's food application really hit home for me!

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  8. "Rest well" is definitely a good one! I've been terrible about that for the last...3-ish years (yay medical school), but sometimes, if I'm super lucky, I get to play catchup on weekends!

    An Oreo Birthday Cake Blizzard sounds absolutely amazing. <3

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    1. Resting well is such a challenge in certain seasons of life! Hang in there through your schooling - hope you have more of a chance to rest soon!

      I highly recommend trying the Oreo Birthday Cake blizzard if you are looking for a special treat :)

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  9. If I couldn't ignore it (because I wasn't hungry), then a herbal tea did the trick most of the time. Otherwise a few carob nibs and I was set.
    Well that's what I discovered after I finished (only recently) my 21 day sugar detox.

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    1. Carob nibs sound interesting to try? Great suggestions, Matilda! I wish I liked tea... I always crave a second cup of coffee in the afternoon but have to fight the urge :)

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  10. I try to drink a tall glass of water and then wait a few minutes to see if the cravings go away, or go and do something to distract myself. If all else fails, I try to choose something that is healthier, like dried apple chips if I'm craving something sweet.

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    1. Ooh dried apple chips do sound like a nice alternative, Melissa!

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