Food cravings! We all have them at one time or another. I know I do!
Especially after the holidays, when there were so many temptations of goodies
that were hard to resist.
But now in the New year, when you want to cut back, you may find it’s not that easy!
Cravings are uncomfortable or intense desires for specific foods, often processed junk foods that are high in sugar, salt or fat. For some people, one of the reasons losing weight and keeping it off is difficult can be due to cravings.
Here are some suggestions to help prevent cravings of unhealthy foods:
1. Drink water. Hunger or food cravings may be confused with thirst. Try drinking a glass of water if you have a sudden food craving. After a few minutes the craving may fade away as you may have just been thirsty.
2. Increase your protein. To keep from overeating and reduce your appetite, protein helps you feel satisfied for longer and helps you feel full.
3. Eat healthy, well balanced meals. When your body gets the nutrients it needs, you won’t feel hungry after eating.
4. Plan your meals if you can, for the day or the upcoming week. By knowing what you you’re going to eat, you can avoid eating spontaneously. You’ll be less tempted and less likely to experience cravings.
5. Eat regularly scheduled meals. One of the biggest reasons we feel cravings is hunger, so avoid letting yourself get too hungry.
6. Distract yourself . If you feel a craving, take a brisk walk, dance around the house, or take a shower. By changing your activity and shifting your mind to something else, you may be able to stop the craving.
7 .Keep healthy snacks on hand. Some nuts, cut up veggies, a protein smoothie can bridge the gap between meals and keep your blood sugar on an even keel.
8, Avoid stress whenever possible. Food cravings can be induced by stress and influence eating behaviors. Stress can raise your blood levels of cortisol, a hormone that can make you gain weight, especially in the belly area.
9 Practice mindful eating which can reduce binge eating episodes. Mindful eating teaches you to distinguish between cravings and actual physical hunger. It involves being present while you eat, slowing down and chewing thoroughly.
10. Get enough sleep. Hormones affect your appetite and fluctuate throughout the day. Not getting enough sleep disrupts the fluctuations, and may lead to poor appetite regulation and strong cravings. And don’t feel guilty about taking naps!
9. Give yourself a reward as motivation for your self-control. For example, a spa day for eating better or getting together with a special friend.
If you are one of those people that skip breakfast, think twice before doing so,. Skipping breakfast can cause you to have a mid-day snack attack—it can have you grabbing the nearest junk food. However, you may not know exactly why. You can blame those cravings on low blood glucose, when it dips you find it hard to resist an unhealthy snack. You can get your glucose under control by eating a breakfast high in protein and fiber to help satiate and stabilize out of control cravings, In addition, studies show people who eat breakfast every morning are more likely to maintain a healthy weight.
Scheduling small steps toward goals is a key to success. Try implementing one to two steps at a time. The hope is that after a week or two you’ll have more control over your cravings.
For tips on how to kick the sugar habit, see chapter 13 : Sugar and it’s Many Disguises in my book “Healthy and Radiant Within A Prescription for Health Filled with Inspiring Stories:”
Here’s to a Happy and Healthy 2019!