cravings

Listen to Your Cravings

It'll help prevent them from happening in the first place.

Even athletes whose diets include plenty of produce, lean protein, and healthy fats are not immune to occasional yearnings for less nutritious fare. Here's why you shouldn't ignore them.

When you try to substitute or “eat around” a craving with healthier items, you don’t scratch the itch, says Ryan Andrews, RD, a nutrition coach based in Norwalk, Connecticut. And that may leave you rifling through the cabinet because you’re still hungry. Eating a small amount of what you really want satisfies the desire from the get-go so that you can move on. Just make sure to eat slowly and savor the tastes and textures, which will help you enjoy every bite more.

And paying attention to what your body desires can help prevent future cravings. For example: “If you’re hungry after an hour, you probably didn’t eat enough of the right ingredients at the previous meal,” says Andrews. So if you notice you're drawn to a certain food, think about what you ate earlier in the day and consider adjusting later meals to prevent a reoccurrence.