Cravings can challenge even the strongest of willpower. That annoying feeling in the back of your mind, like a child asking for a toy, is hard to shake. Living a balanced life means we don’t have to deny ourselves anything completely. However, if we gave in to every pesky craving the balance could soon tip into an unhealthy lifestyle.
While a healthy diet helps to minimise cravings, they can still strike when you least expect it. Sometimes, the easiest way to crush a craving is tricking your body into thinking you’ve given in. We’ve gathered our top cupboard staples to keep you and your cravings satisfied.
Cupboard Staple: Dates
Dates are high in vitamins and are a great source of fibre. They’re sweet, sticky and chewy, giving you the lovely texture of a gooey brownie. You can even pop them in the freezer for a while to accentuate the flavours and chewiness.
Other options: There is a whole host of chocolate flavour protein products, including shakes. If you get regular chocolate cravings, shakes could be a good way of keeping to your nutrition plan and feel like you are treating yourself.
Cupboard Staple: Apples and cinnamon
If you are someone who loves dessert, meals can seem incomplete without a little treat at the end. Chop up an apple per serving into chunks (skin on for extra fibre). Pop them in the microwave for a few minutes, or cook on the hob until a little soft. Mix through a teaspoon of cinnamon, and you’ve got all the flavour of an apple pie.
Cupboard Staple: Almond or Soy Milk, FlavDrops
If you are missing a daily dose of barista coffee, fear not. Although milky coffees can add tons of fairly empty calories to your intake a week, there are healthier alternatives.
Firstly, try a green tea, black coffee or espresso if it’s just the caffeine you miss. If that’s no good, replace your regular dairy with a plant-based alternative. If you usually go for a flavoured syrup, treat yourself to the calorie-free FlavDrops.
Craving: Salty Food
Cupboard Staple: Sage, Lemon, Cumin, Black Pepper
Excess sodium in our diets can cause health problems as we get older. However, we all know that salt is one of the easiest additions to a savoury meal to help it taste good. So when you are cutting salt, you might want to get adventurous with other spices and flavourings to keep the taste level high.
Sage has a slight saltiness to it, while lemon cumin and pepper have their own distinct flavours that can help you forget all about salt.
Cupboard Staple: Popcorn
If you like to pick at crisps or other snacks, homemade popcorn is a good alternative. Without toppings, popcorn is a low calorie treat you can pick on all day. You can pick up a bag of corn kernels from most supermarkets, and make a huge batch to store in an airtight container. To add a boost of flavour, shake your popcorn with desiccated coconut, or cumin, or even chilli powder.