The Health Journal with Shannon Hutsler: Feed the crave

Kharissa Forte

Exercising and healthy eating are essential to creating a wholesome body from the inside out.

Having a nutritious diet may sound easy, but cravings are hard to stave off. UMKC personal trainer Shannon Hutsler said the key is not to ignore the craving, but to decipher what your body really needs.

“Your body will actually tell you what it is craving,” Hutsler said. “[It will tell you] if it’s craving greens or fish or poultry, carbs even. If we just stop and take the time to listen, we’ll know what our bodies really need.”

The idea is to feed the craving with the right food. Instead of indulging on cake or snacking on potato chips, opt for healthier options like berries or brown rice.

“Reach for an apple or a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar and refined sugars,” she said.

By feeding the craving correctly, your body receives what it really needs and taste buds are satisfied. Essentially, it’s a win-win situation once you figure out what it is your body wants.

“There are all kinds of tools out there online to help people decipher how to feed their cravings the right way,” Hutsler said.

Eventually, the itch to eat unhealthy snacks will disappear if cravings are consistently curbed by feeding them healthy foods.

“If you go for a month without French fries, I guarantee you won’t want it anymore. The same goes for pop, sweets and other unhealthy cravings,” Hutsler said.

It is often tempting to choose snack items that are labeled and marketed as healthy. Popular brands offer 100-calorie snack packs, which despite how they are marketed, use ingredients that are oftentimes not healthy.

Next week, we’ll take a look at rules to consider concerning ingredients and analyze if any of these packaged choices are good choices.

[email protected]