A healthy diet is usually at the forefront of most people’s minds but it can be hard to resist some of the foods you crave when you’ve had a hard day. There can be so much going on in life that a diet can easily fall by the wayside at times as other parts of life take priority. That being said, if you’re really trying to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, there’s nothing to be gained from giving up, and in the end you’ll kick yourself when there’s a lack of results. Here are some simple tips, tricks and meal ideas that you can use to beat the cravings while still enjoying some really tasty food.

Are you hungry?

The first thing you should do when tempted by a craving is question your hunger. Many of us get bored during the day or are just stressed from too much to do at work and eating is an easy fix. Admitting to yourself that you’re not hungry in reality is one step towards stopping the craving and staying healthy. If you decide that you really are hungry, reassess your choices and go for a healthier option. Instead of reaching for a bag of crisps, try out kale chips instead or a blueberry oat muffin instead of a full fat one which can contain up to 500 calories in just one serving.


Convenience

pizzaImage: Hungryhouse

As our lives get busier, preparing healthy meals has become a low priority which means convenience is now key. Instead of cooking a healthy family meal, when you get home late more people are tempted to just order from the local takeaway for a quick but unhealthy solution. The good news is, nowadays it’s much easier to get hold of healthy convenience food, and this includes takeaways. Pizza is especially popular for its convenience, but many consider it an unhealthy choice. However, if you opt for a thin or vegetable crust, less cheese and a selection of vegetables on the top you’ll be making a much healthier choice and having a tasty treat at the same time.


Don’t restrict your body

avocadoImage: Pixabay

Another important question to ask yourself when you are craving something unhealthy is, “have I been eating less than usual?” If the answer’s no, then you’re probably not hungry. If you have, then you need to remember that restricting your diet to extremes won’t help you lose weight or become healthier

Women should aim to take in 2,000 calories a day while men should consume 500 more than that. Restricting yourself from having enough food can lead to cravings for cakes, biscuits and fried foods. So, instead of trying to cut bad foods out or restrict yourself, you should allow yourself full meals of your favourite foods but be willing to make a few compromises. If you’re craving a bag of fries for example, why not try making yourself some sweet potato or butternut squash fries? For a really healthy choice consider cooking in coconut oil instead – you can check out all the benefits here. This way you’ll be getting all the nutrients of a vegetable and satisfying your craving for fried foods at the same time. This would work perfectly alongside a haloumi burger for a much healthier alternative to burger and chips.

vegetarian-burger-with-grilled-cheese-eggplant-and-pestoImage: BigStock


Chocolate

Finally, the chocolate craving. This is perhaps the worst of all and the hardest to beat. However, with this evidence from a study by Cornell University in 2012,it should be much easier. The study found that adults are more attracted to a meal or snack that includes three different items and three different colours. So, next time you feel the chocolate craving bubbling up inside, prepare yourself a snack of nuts, dried fruits and some dark chocolate drops. Not only does this contain a range of healthy nutrients, it also includes the three essential colours and ingredients of appeal.