Think before you run to the bread bin or your secret stash of sweets

Sometimes we think we are craving food when in reality we are just bored or stressed. You should only take action on craving if you are sure the craving is physical. Ask yourself “Am I really hungry?” Food cravings can trick you into thinking you are hungry when you are not. The following steps are known to help dissolve cravings and keep them to minimum:

1.Keep busy – Distract yourself by taking a bath, walking the dog, doing some hoovering or calling a friend.

2.Get moving – Take up yoga, pilates, running or an exercise that suits you and get those endorphins pumping.

3.Drink water – Drink a pint glass of water when you feel you are craving food, you could just be thirsty.

4.Eat regular and balanced meals – Eat a balanced diet that includes protein, fibre and fats to maximise fullness and satisfaction. Do not skip meals.

5.Eat real food – Eat more vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, fish, meat, legumes, intact grains and less refined carbohydrates, sugar, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavours, dyes and processed fats. Processed foods lead to eating beyond your physical needs.

6.Use 10 minute rule – If you sense you are craving something, wait for ten minutes. If the craving does not subside satisfy it with a small portion of what you craving.

Did you know that your cravings are your body’s way of telling you what it really needs? Craving salty, sweet or creamy foods could be an indication that you are lacking in certain nutrients. So next time you feel like having a bar of chocolate or an extra slice of toast why not try to substitute it with something much more healthy and filling. Below are 6 of the most common cravings we experience and the nutrients your body might actually need:

Craving: Bread
What you need: Nitrogen
Where to get it: Fish, meat, nuts, beans

Craving: Tea/Coffee
What you need: Phosphorous – Sulphur – Iron
Where to get it: Chicken, beef, liver, fish, eggs, dairy – red peppers, egg yolks, garlic, onion – meat, fish, poultry, seaweed, greens, blackberries

Craving: Chocolate
What you need: Magnesium
Where to get it: Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits

Craving: Sweets
What you need: Chromium – Phosphorous – Sulphur – Carbon
Where to get it: Brocolli, grapes, cheese – chicken, beef, liver, poultry, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes – fresh fruits

Craving: Fizzy Drinks
What you need: Calcium
Where to get it: Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes and cheese

Craving: Salty foods
What you need: Chloride
Where to get: Raw goats milk, fish, unrefined sea salt

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Dr. Benjamin Martin is a Chiropractor and speaker on Health and Wellbeing. Ben is regularly called on to discuss health topics and chiropractic on radio, tv and press. His promise is to adjust and educate as many families as possible towards optimal health. His work changes lives and has restored people's quality of life.
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