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Stopping Cravings

8/17 8:50:22

Question
Hi. I'm a 20-year old guy who is trying to eat healthier (already at a healthy weight, but trying to improve my diet). For some reason, I always have cravings for unhealthy food mid-day. Not sure if it has to do with what I usually have for breakfast (Kashi cereal with an apple). I notice that these cravings usually come up after I exercise, which is either running or strength training. Do you have any specific advice for me or just general advice for cravings? Thank you!

Answer
Hi Chris,

The simple reason most people crave "unhealthy" food is because foods high in sugar and fat taste good and are satisfying. People also get cravings if they are hungry, thirsty, or tired, because these foods can serve as a temporary pick-me-up.

Your lunch may have more to do with afternoon cravings than your breakfast. If the cravings bother you, adding more food at lunch time may tide you over better.

The good news is, if you are 20 years old and exercising, your body may actually need some more food mid-day!
Consider a good-tasting snack that also contains some nutritional value, like a granola bar or some dried fruit and nuts.

If you're in good shape and your diet can stand a couple of extra calories, even an "unhealthy" food like a small chocolate chip cookie might fit just fine into your diet, especially if this is the only time of day you splurge on a treat.

Take heed, though: When a person gets into the habit of a certain snack at a certain time of day, the body actually learns to "expect" it and it can be a very tough pattern to break.
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