If cravings weren’t such a big problem, most of us would probably have no problem sticking to healthier food choices more consistently.
Cravings are almost always triggered by our emotions. If you can learn to really tune into your body when a craving strikes, you’ll probably notice that it’s come from your head rather than your stomach.
Head hunger isn’t real hunger, but it sure can feel like it is. Once you’ve worked on developing your habit of distinguishing head hunger from stomach hunger, you can use some of the following easy smoothie recipes to control specific cravings.
If You Crave Sweets, Try a Pineapple Banana Smoothie
If you’re dreaming about jelly beans and eating frosting with a spoon right out of the container, the healthiest way to tackle your sweet tooth is by using fresh fruit. Pineapples and bananas are good suggestions because they’re both extremely sweet, but you could use practically any type of fruit that’s ripe and sweet enough to throw in a blender.
All you need is about a cup of fresh pineapple cut up into chunks, one large banana and one cup of unsweetened almond or coconut milk. Throw it all in the blender and enjoy the tropical and refreshing flavors!
Love This? Never Miss Another Story.
If You Crave Chocolate, Try a Dark Chocolate Smoothie
A couple squares of 70 percent dark chocolate can be used to curb a strong craving for chocolate, but you have to really stick to a small serving size to stay in control of calories. In this case, a chocolate smoothie that you can sip on might be a more satisfying and filling alternative.
Blend 2 to 5 tablespoons of cocoa (depending on how chocolatey you want it) with one large banana, one cup of unsweetened almond or coconut milk and one tablespoon of honey. You’ll be shocked at how good this one will taste without all the extra white sugar and milk products that traditional milkshakes tend to have.
If You Crave Fat or Dairy, Try a Peaches & Cream Smoothie
Got a hankering for the creamy texture of some cheese or full-fat yogurt? Believe it or not, you can add small amounts to a smoothie to make them even creamier than you’d imagine. A tablespoon or two of cream cheese and some Greek yogurt are your best friends here.
For a yummy peaches & cream smoothie, combine and blend two tablespoons of cream cheese, one peach, 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, one teaspoon of honey and 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond or coconut milk. The result is one seriously peachy and creamy drink!
If You Crave Something Salty and Crunchy, Try a Salted Caramel Cookie Dough Smoothie
While you can’t exactly get the same satisfying texture of something crunchy by drinking a liquid smoothie, you can at least get a salty, crunch-inspired flavor that should partially make up for it. This salted caramel cookie dough smoothie from Running with Spoons is one of the most popular ones you’ll find on Pinterest.
Blend 1/4 cup of banana slices, 1/4 cup rolled outs, 3 to 5 pitted dates, 1/3 cup of vanilla almond milk, 3 to 4 ice cubs, a pinch of salt and 2 optional tablespoons of raw almonds. Cookie dough has never been this healthy before.
If You Crave Carbs, Try a Banana Oat Smoothie
Craving bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, cereal or any other carb-related food? A smoothie that has a generous helping of oats can fill you up, energize you and hopefully kill that carb craving before it starts to get even worse.
Combine one large banana, 1/3 cup of plain old-fashioned rolled oats, 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond or coconut milk, 1/2 cup of your favorite plain yogurt, two teaspoons of honey and a pinch of ground cinnamon in a blender. Blend until it’s smooth and enjoy!
Smoothies are so incredibly versatile, you could keep adding more ingredients to the ones suggested above (but watch your calories) or swap certain ingredients out for other ones for a change. They’re a perfect solution for head hunger because you have full control over the flavors and they take some time to sip–so hopefully you’ll be distracted enough from reaching for some of the less healthy foods you originally wanted.
James Achanyi-Fontem, is a Senior Health Journalist and Communication Consultant. He worked as a health journalist and broadcaster for 30 years with Radio Cameroon and later Cameroon Radio Television, CRTV before retiring in 2005 to engage fully with Cameroon Link (Human Assistance Programme). Cameroon Link is a registered charity, not-for-profit organisation involved in the promotion of community health, humanitarian assistance, promotion of women and child rights through involvement of communities in Cameroon for mother and child health care. Cameroon Link is a partner to Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Farm Radio International (FRI), International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN Africa), World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). As the intermediary of Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Cameroon Link is engaged to implement a Cameroon Rural Radio story design Programming through an investigative research, which aims to discover through interviewing beneficiaries of health programmes on their interests, documenting and disseminating new ideas about how radio stations produce and air Healthy Communities Radio Programs in Cameroon.