In a perfect world, we would all crave kale and broccoli, and the thought of a burger and fries would never cross our mind.
However, for most people, healthy choices aren’t the foods the crave, and it can be hard to switch over from wanting some macaroni and cheese to settling for some zucchini noodles instead.
But just because you currently want junk food doesn’t mean you’re stuck forever, as there are a number of ways you can train your body and mind to want healthier food.
When it comes to losing weight or staying in shape, the key is to eat whole and healthy foods that are filled with important nutrients. Although fad diets may seem tempting, they don’t instill good eating habits overall, and what better way to encourage yourself to eat healthy foods than to actually crave them all the time?
If you’re hoping to switch up your tastebuds and reach for carrot sticks over the chips, try these five secrets to craving a healthy diet.
1. Enjoy Your Food
No one’s going to enjoy a plate of bland vegetables that have been steamed and nothing else. Spruce up your food so you actually enjoy it. Mix your vegetables into smoothies or scramble them in an egg with cheese. If you’re excited about a dish, you’re way more likely to eat it.
2. Get Some Sleep
It may sound surprising, but the amount of sleep you get each night dictates what kind of food you’ll likely want to eat. Studies from UC Berkeley show that the less sleep you get, the more likely you are to crave junk food instead of healthy foods such as vegetables or whole grains.
Exercising frequently is a double-whammy: Not only will it help you get in shape, but it will also lead you to crave healthier foods overall. Studies show that regular exercise helps you crave more foods like fruits and vegetables, as one healthy habit can help trigger others.
4. Keep Healthy Food On The Counter
If junk food is staring at you in plain sight, chances are, you’re going to want to eat it. A study from Cornell University found that people who keep fruit on their countertops eat way less on average than those who keep out unhealthy foods such as cereal or soda.
5. Start Eating Healthy When You’re Hungry
The more you eat healthy foods, the more you’ll crave them. Research from Harvard and Tufts University found that once people began eating healthy foods when their body was hungry, the reward center of their brain began responding to healthy foods over junk foods. Tricking your brain to respond well to nutritious foods can help your body crave more of them.
Photo by AmazingAlmonds