How to Train Your Body to Crave Healthy Food|part2
How to Train Your Body to Crave Healthy Food
Most people crave junk foods, like salty chips, sweet cookies, and creamy ice cream, so when you're trying to live a healthy lifestyle, it's natural to want to replace those cravings with a desire for healthier, nutrient-rich foods.However, it can be difficult early on to transition to a healthier diet. There are ways you can make healthy foods more appealing and adjust your mentality. This will make it easier to stick to a healthy diet for the long-term.
Making Foods More Appealing
Use dips and dressings at first.If you dislike the taste of healthy fruits and vegetables, do not try to jump into healthy eating all at once. Gradual changes over time are key to eventually developing a taste for the right things. When you first start going for fruits and vegetables, make use of dips and dressings.
- You can, for example, dip fruits in healthy yogurts or yogurt-based fruit dips. You can try dipping vegetables in low-fat dressings.
- You can also use dips like peanut butter and other nut butters, which are a good source of protein, as well as dips like hummus.
Add a small amount of sugar to vegetables.It's okay to sweeten vegetables slightly as you're easing into eating them. A minor amount of sugar is okay when you're using it to transition into healthy eating. Try dipping broccoli and cauliflower into a sugar/water mixture. This will sweeten the vegetables slightly, making them easier to eat if you're not used to the taste.
- Your mixture should contain no more than 20% sugar. Saturating your foods with too much sugar will not help your taste buds adjust.
Make food look fancy.You can actually trick your brain into wanting to eat something. People are more likely to go for a food that looks presentable. Use your nicest plates and place your food in a decorative manner on the plate. For example, separate your meats, fruits, and vegetables and add some kind of garnish, like parsley.
- Colorful plates may look more attractive, and it's recommended you have at least seven different colors of food on your plate. Try incorporating as many colors as possible when assembling your fruits and vegetables.
Avoid unpleasant smells.The way something smells can have a big impact on whether or not it feels appealing to eat. Your tastebuds cannot always separate from your sense of smell, so if something smells foul you may not like the taste. Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, tend to give off a strong odor that puts people off. Steam or roast these vegetables to release the scent and then eat them outside of the kitchen.
- You can also try pairing bad smelling foods with strong scents you like. If you love the smell of bacon, which can be overpowering, add chopped broccoli to your morning bacon and eggs.
Give spices and herbs a try.Browse through your spice rack or take a look at the spices at the grocery store — there is an enormous variety of spices and herbs you can experiment with to enhance the flavors of healthy foods. Try sprinkling basil or oregano over broccoli, or add thyme to roasted carrots. Keep spices like ginger, oregano, red pepper flakes, and thyme on hand to add flavor and aroma to healthy foods.
Alter the texture.Sometimes people dislike foods due to their texture. Things that have more texture are more difficult to eat, which may put you off. Try serving your fruits and vegetables in a smoothie or adding nuts to a salad to give it more of a crunch.
Changing Your Eating Habits
Eat only when you're hungry.Eating when you're hungry changes how you think and feel about food. If you're prone to mindless eating, you may be snacking out of boredom. This can result in binging on foods you don't really need while ignoring healthier options. Wait until your body feels hungry and keep your kitchen stocked with healthy options.
- If you're very hungry, and all you have is fruits and vegetables, you'll reach for the carrot sticks even if they're not your favorite. Being hungry in the presence of healthy food encourages you to eat it.
Pay more for healthy food.People tend to eat less of food they paid a high price for. Whether it's accurate or not, people are biased to assume a more expensive food is of higher quality. Try tricking your brain into craving health food by paying a little extra for it. For example, get your shopping done at Whole Foods rather than your regular supermarket.
Cut back on sweets gradually.Cutting out sweets cold turkey is likely to backfire. Humans are hardwired to crave sugar, so dropping sugar too quickly can cause intense cravings. Most unhealthy sugary products are too high in sugar to be appealing once you lose your taste for them, so work on replacing sugary foods over time.
- For example, if you're a soda drinker, try switching to flavored seltzer water. Replace one can of soda a day with one can of seltzer and gradually increase the amount.
- Instead of cookies and cakes, go for mildly sweetened breads.
- Replace candy with things like dried fruits and raisins.
Eat mindfully.Eating too fast can leave you craving more food, which may result in indulging in an unhealthy late night snack after a good dinner. Try to be mindful when you're eating. Turn off the television and eat at the table.
- Chew slowly and pay attention to the texture and taste of your food.
- Set your fork down between bites.
- If you slow down the pace of your eating, you may get full faster. This will cut back on unhealthy food cravings.
Committing to a Healthy Diet
Keep bad foods out of the kitchen.If you have junk food in the kitchen, you're more likely to eat it. Healthy eating long term is what will train your brain to crave healthy foods, so commit to keeping junk food out of reach. If you don't have gummy worms to snack on, you're more likely to reach for the sliced apples instead.
- If you like small treats now and again, keep unhealthy snacks high up in cabinets so they're harder to reach. You can also freeze things like chocolate and baked goods, so you have to wait for them to thaw before eating them. When foods are not in reach, you're less likely to mindlessly snack on them.
Avoid social outings where you will be tempted.Going out sometimes leads to eating bad foods. If you're still working on creating a taste for health food, try to stay away from get-togethers that involve eating.
- You can have a running excuse about certain nights. For example, try joining a spin class Friday nights so you'll be able to skip out on bowling night, where you normally eat fries and drink beer.
- You can also suggest social outings that do not involve food. For example, everyone can go hiking together.
Stop thinking in terms of restriction.How you think about food affects your eating habits. If you're constantly thinking things like, "I don't deserve that," or, "I can't have that," you're creating more stress for yourself. This can lead to stress-eating. Instead, think, "I can eat whatever I want, but I'm choosing to avoid unhealthy foods."
Reduce stress in your life.Stress can be a major cause of pour eating habits. If you're prone to stress-related eating, take measures to reduce stress. Take up hobbies that calm you down. Set aside 30 minutes each day to relax. Start up a workout routine that helps you unwind.
Video: How to Train Your Body to Crave Healthy Food
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