The quest to stop cravings is a noble, albeit difficult one. The logic checks out—if you didn’t want that cookie so badly, it would be easier not to devour it. But when it comes to conquering your palate’s desires and improving health this season, can drinks actually have an impact? We spoke to experts across the field about this premise and got a variety of professional insights on which drinks can potentially help to stop cravings.
Katherine Kimber, Registered Dietitian and founder of Nude Nutrition, started by addressing an important caveat. “Being adequately fed throughout the day is key to keeping you calm and free of out of control cravings,” she said.
Sharon Katzman, MS, RDN, added that while nothing can replace a well-balanced, anti-inflammatory diet, drinks can seem like an easier and faster solution. And, when paired with the correct foods, there are a few that can have an impact.
Here are the top seven drinks that could help to stop those cravings, according to industry professionals.
Almost universally the number one answer from nutritionists, research shows that green tea is anti-inflammatory. You have its naturally-occurring phenolic compounds catechins to thank for that—combined with caffeine, they tend to rev up your metabolism.
Anju Mobin, a certified nutritionist and Managing Editor of Best for Nutrition, adds that “the most effective way to increase fat oxidation is through endurance exercise combined with green tea consumption.” So bring your tea-bags to the gym!
Black coffee is packed with health benefits. Although it is widely cited as an appetite suppressant, evidence towards that is largely anecdotal. The drink is a proven anti-inflammatory, though, and as Katzman explained, there’s also research linking black coffee and brain health. The key here? Your coffee has to be black. “If you add sugar and cream,” Katzman says, “all bets are off.”
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Apple Cider Vinegar
If you’ve done any research into fat-burning drinks, you’ve probably heard of apple cider vinegar. Perhaps the trendiest of the health drinks right now, some research shows that ACV burns the fat that accumulates deep in the belly, and also helps reduce fat storage overall. Katzman warns not to overdo it here, though, as ACV can also take the enamel off teeth, over time.
We’ve all heard the rumor about celery—weight loss articles in the early 00’s touted it as having “negative calories.” While that is a bit misleading (read: it’s a myth), celery does have several health benefits. By juicing it (along with other leafy greens, or even cucumber), you take fiber out of the equation and create a very anti-inflammatory drink with nutrients that are easy for your body to absorb. The trick, here? Not adding to much fruit. As Katzman advises, fruit raises your blood sugar, which in can turn can trigger your brain’s sugar response and actually increase cravings.5
Lara Campher, qualified nutrition coach and fitness instructor, swears by all types of tea. Blue tea, oolong tea, mint tea—they all can boost your metabolism, and, she says, the smell of mint might even suppress your appetite. Katzman adds that tea in general is very calming, and can help reduce stress hormones that cause inflammation.
Unsweetened Iced Tea
Iced tea has all the benefits of hot tea, but could be an easier go-to than it’s steaming sister. For anti-inflammatory benefits, keep a vat of iced green tea in the fridge, and go for that instead of a seltzer or soda. When concocting this staple, watch what you add to it. Sugar is super inflammatory, and even sugar replacements could leave you craving sweets.7
Last but certainly not least, the ultimate staple—water.
“When you’re dehydrated, you can have cravings and think you’re hungry when you’re not,” says Katzman, It’s thirst!
Water is also wonderful for detoxifying all of your bodily systems. Aim for eight glasses a day, or calculate the proper amount of water for your body.