Whether you’re still working on that New Year’s resolution or trying to stay healthy in the midst of midterms, eating well isn’t always easy—craving sugar is way more common than craving carrot sticks. In order to start craving healthier food like fresh fruits and vegetables with more vitamins and minerals and less sugar and fat like dessert and chips, use these tricks every day.
1. Choose healthy foods for treats
Associating foods such as fruit with reward will help train your body to crave these foods. After a tough exam or awful breakup, reach for fruit or dark chocolate instead of a pint of ice cream or box of cookies. Try a fruit salad or these frozen Greek yogurt banana poppers.
2. Have fruits and vegetables prepared and easy to reach
At the beginning of the week, prepare fruits and veggies, cut them up and put them in plastic baggies or containers. Leave them at the front of your fridge so they’re just as easy to grab as chips or ice cream. Also prepare lunches the night before so you’re not tempted to stop for fast food or something similar.
3. Eat with friends who enjoy eating healthy
Watching your friends enjoy a meal full of fresh meats and vegetables will trick your brain into thinking you’re enjoying it too. Having nutrition-minded friends can lead you to try new foods which you may find yourself seeking out for your next snack. Also use social media and cooking shows to encourage you to try cooking, preparing, and eating foods with more nutritional value.
4. Eat protein-rich foods
Carbohydrates such as pretzels or chocolate may seem satisfying at the moment, but leave you feeling hungry soon after. Foods high in protein promote satiety, or the feeling of being full. Looking for a delicious high-protein snack? Try greek yogurt, some nuts, or these Almond Butter Oat Protein Energy Balls.
5. Eat more nutritious foods as the first and last parts of your meal
Eating something you love, like bread, at the beginning of the meal will make your body think that bread is associated with filling your hunger. Finishing your meal with a sweet dessert like a cupcake will be remembered as delicious because it was the last thing you ate. Instead of starting your meal with bread, begin with vegetables and hummus to promote satiety. Support more wholesome cravings by finishing a meal with fresh berries instead of a sugary dessert.