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One of the biggest challenges to making healthy change in our life is addressing our cravings.  Cravings come up in many different aspects of our lives.  When it comes to healthy eating, cravings are caused by a number of things, including low blood sugar and hormones. Additionally, emotions may trigger cravings.  If your boss disrespected you or you just had an argument with a relative, for example, you may find yourself craving sweets. Here are a few ideas to help you overcome your cravings.

Tip #1: Have Healthy Snacks at the Ready

Keep a healthy snack with you at all times. One of the most common causes for cravings is low blood sugar. After you eat a food high in sugar, your blood sugar spikes; an hour later it is back at rock bottom. The result is a craving for more sweets.

Keeping a healthy snack in your purse, drawer, car or pocket will help you fend off cravings. Good snacks include nuts, rice crackers, vegetables, fruit, or seeds. Natural snack bars are also an easy way to grab a healthy snack. Make sure the bar doesn’t have any added sugar.

Tip #2: Include Sufficient Protein in Your Day

Protein is a great way to help fend off cravings. It helps balance your blood sugar and keeps your metabolism level. It also helps you stay full longer. Add lean protein to your meals and snacks to ban cravings. Starting off the day with a protein rich breakfast can also help set you off for success.

Tip #3: Hydrate

Drink something first. We often misinterpret the signals our body is sending us. We may think we are hungry when in fact we are actually dehydrated. When you feel hungry or are having a craving, have a glass of water instead of sugary juice or soft drinks. Water fills you up, it helps balance your metabolism, and it may banish that craving immediately.

Tip #4: Manage Your Stress

Learn to manage stress. Stress is what often causes emotional eating. When we are stressed it is much more difficult to manage depression, fear, and even anger and frustration. These are the emotions that lead to emotional eating. Get plenty of rest and consider adopting some stress management techniques. Meditation, exercise, and a balanced diet help manage stress.

Tip #5: Take a Moderate Approach

Cut yourself some slack. Eliminating your favorite foods from your diet can also cause cravings. Instead of eliminating your favorite foods, make room for them. Moderation is key. If, for example, your favorite food is chocolate then consider letting yourself have a small bit of chocolate each day or on Fridays at the end of the work week.

Be prepared for cravings. Have snacks on hand and eat well to keep blood sugar balanced. Stay hydrated and take good care of yourself. Cravings are a part of life. Learn to manage them and you won’t have to worry about them sabotaging your healthy eating or weight loss efforts.