We see it all day long. There are pictures and billboards and commercials and a million videos on Facebook...And every single one of them shows you something that makes you go, "I shouldn't eat that...But I want to." We're barraged by messaging that teaches us to crave "bad" foods. It's not rocket science. You look at a million commercials for a juicy double cheese burger, and eventually you think, "I want that!"
The good news is, you can break the cycle, and all it takes it a little bit of intentionality. We're not going to stop using social media or watching T.V. It's the 21st century, and that's great - Who doesn't love google and indoor plumbing?! But we can be a little more choosy about what we see when we're online...
1. If you're on social media, go and follow accounts with healthy recipes, videos, and pictures.
Just like staring at a Creamy 5 Candy Bar Cake video makes you want to cook yourself into a sugar coma, staring at delicious "healthy" food makes you more likely to crave nutritious options. Look at these blueberries! They're amazing, and I totally want to go pick some now. Change the messaging your brain receives.
2. Make your meals look appealing!
It's a small thing. It's maybe even a little bit silly, but every time I make a meal, I tack a couple extra minutes on to the end of my prep time to think about "presentation." It helps me engage with my food, and it helps me appreciate the nutrition and flavor of everything I'm about to eat. When I feel good about what I've prepared, I'm excited to eat my healthy meal. And as an added bonus, I totally feel like a contestant on a cooking show.
3. Stop Looking.
Yes, I KNOW that three cheese lasagna looks delicious. But if you're serious about trying to change the patterns of your cravings, take simple steps to limit the content you see that glorifies the foods you're trying to cut back on. If you're off dairy for the month, watching twenty drool worthy mac and cheese videos is actual torture. If you're following those types of creators on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Just click unfollow. Sure it might be fun now and again, but that's the kind of content you can seek out when you're ready. You don't need it hand delivered to your newsfeed every two hours.
The bottom line is this: THINK about the kinds of messages you're being exposed to. Work to alter the content of those messages so that you're in control of what you see, and what you crave. Remember, cutting back on the kinds of "bad" messaging you see won't fix everything immediately, and it's important to note that some cravings are good! But there's a difference between your body telling you it needs a certain nutrient, and watching a fried chicken video. Once you take some steps in a positive direction, your body will start to recognize healthy food as "crave worthy" too. By limiting the obstacles between you and making healthy choices, you open yourself up to good habits.
If you're looking for a place to start with healthy content creators, check out our pinterest, facebook, and instagram pages. Help out your friends and share YOUR favorite healthy influencers in the comments!