Cravings for "forbidden" foods, usually riddled with saturated fat and sugar, happen for many different reasons. While a lack of self-discipline can sometimes be blamed, there are a number of other triggers such as under-eating and high levels of stress.
Another factor which usually leads to cravings is dehydration. When you feel a sense of hunger, or an urge to eat something calorie-dense, it's often because you're dehydrated, not hungry!
Related - Water Intake Calculator
Amazingly, by staying on top of your hydration you can eliminate most cravings without really thinking about them again. Among my various health-focused daily rituals, staying hydrated tops the list. Below you will find five tips to stay hydrated and as a result, kill your cravings!
Tips to Battle Food Cravings Through Hydration
Get a Water Jug
My very first tip is an easy one - purchase a water jug which can hold at least two liters of water. If your goal is to drink one gallon of water per day, drinking just over two of these jugs every day will hit that quota.
If you try to drink enough by having the odd glass here and there, or using small bottles of water, you likely won't reach your goal as it becomes too difficult to track your intake.
Use this water jug as a source of accountability. There's no hiding from the fact that you must drink and fill this twice, otherwise you've failed.
The pressure is now on! It also gives you added convenience because you can carry at least half of your daily target of fluid with you, so there's no excuses for falling behind. Remember, staying hydrated helps curb your cravings, so it's time to be accountable to your goal.
Starting as soon as you wake up, set goals throughout the day to make sure you've consumed a set amount of water by a certain time. This helps avoid a common situation where it's late in the day, you haven't drunk enough, and you end up trying to force it down in one go.
Not only is this inconvenient for you, it's not the best way to hydrate your body. It's far better to do it gradually throughout the day, this way is also far better for managing cravings.
React to Your Climate
Your climate might change which means your fluid goals must also adjust appropriately. If you've gone from a mild climate in the UK to one which is humid and scorching in India, you will be losing a lot more fluid through sweat.
That needs to be replaced! By failing to acknowledge these adjustments and when you need more fluid, you're running the risk of falling victim to dehydration and cravings. This is even more relevant for people like you and I who train a lot in these hot climates!
Salt is a natural electrolyte which is needed to hold water in the muscle cell, which will boost both your athletic performance and your well-being. When you sweat you lose salt, which is why your sweat tastes so salty!
This needs to be replaced to keep you hydrated, which is why I recommend adding a light pinch of sea salt to your meals. Adding salt is an exceptional way to kill cravings as well. Usually when you're deficient in salt you crave sugar, something you want to avoid as you work towards your healthy lifestyle.
Quite possibly the best invention in the supplement world. Hydra-Charge
is a very high quality natural water flavoring system which tastes absolutely delicious. This in itself kills cravings due to the sweet flavors.
However, it's not just a flavoring additive for water, it's also enriched with SPECTRA, a unique blend of fruit, vegetable, and herbal extracts. It also contains five naturally occurring electrolytes from tender coconut water.
These ingredients not only help hydrate you, but they also boost your health through the antioxidants. Bonus craving quenchermake popsicles with it for a refreshing sweet treat!
Don't overlook the importance of hydration for health and specifically killing cravings. Once you make hydration a daily habit, the majority of your cravings will naturally subside.
And if you find you need something extra to help curb those sweet cravings, skip the sugary pop or candy and reach for Hydra-Charge instead. Its sweet taste will satisfy your sweet tooth and help you reach your daily water intake goals.