If you are on a diet, your worst enemy is very obvious: food cravings. They hit you at your weakest moment. Food cravings are the uncontrollable and intense desire for specific food and are more potent than your normal hunger craving.
The type of food people crave varies from taste to taste. However, there is one fundamental commonality in most cases, these specific food items that you desire mostly fall under the junk category, processed food that is high in sugar content. Cravings are one of the most common reasons behind the failure of weight loss.
11 Ways To Keep Away From Unhealthy Processed Food
What might seem like hunger or specific food cravings may be a sign of thirst. Suppose you have a sudden urge to eat a particular food. You might want to drink a huge glass of water and wait for a few minutes. You might notice that after a few minutes, you no longer crave anything. It was simply a sign of water.
This is not a general case, and sometimes you do crave certain food items; however, drinking water will fill your stomach and make you no longer feel hungry. Win-win for all. The benefits of drinking plenty of water are numerous. Many also say that drinking water before meals reduces your appetite and aids in weight loss in middle age and old age.
Proteins help give you the full feeling your stomach requires to keep you away from snacks. Eating more proteins will not only reduce your appetite but will also keep you away from overeating. A study conducted on teenage girls noted that eating a high-protein breakfast reduces cravings significantly.
There is an ample number of studies and results showing that eating more protein will reduce your craving desires by half, which will help you lose the weight you always wanted but couldn’t due to cravings.
Generally, in life, we distance ourselves from those who are not a good part of our life and always pull us back into the well like crabs. Distance is essential if you want to keep away from temptation. Similarly, if you want to avoid snacking, create some space.
When you feel like eating something, distance yourself and keep your mind occupied. For example, you might want to take a brisk walk or a shower to distract your mind. A slight change in environment and thought can play a massive role. Some studies have noted that chewing gums can help keep your cravings at bay.
Plan Your Meals
Most of you are busy and do not have the time to plan your meals daily, but there is always time at weekends, so try to plan your meals ahead of time. On a Sunday, sit down for five minutes and prepare the meal routine of the upcoming week. Take a pen and a notepad and write down your meal plan. This way, you not only have a clear idea about the meal the next day, but you also get to look forward to those meals instead of jumping to several options. If you provide yourself with options, you will not be able to choose effectively, so plan.
Avoid Feeling Hungry
One cannot possibly control hunger, but one can avoid feeling hungry by eating proper, filling meals. Meals that not only give you the energy required but also satisfy your need. This way, the chance of you feeling hungry at random hours will no longer be an issue. Eat well and regularly; also, it is best to keep a healthy snack close to hand.
Avoid going without meals for an extended period. Some people think that not eating will help them lose weight. This is not true; you might lose some weight, but it will not be in a healthy manner and may harm your health.
Stress eating is pretty standard and has a bad influence on eating behaviors, especially for women. Women who experience stress eat significantly more calories and experience more cravings than those who do not share any stress. Furthermore, stress leads to a rise in cortisol levels in the blood. Cortisol is a hormone that is responsible for weight gain, especially in the belly region.
Try to regulate your surroundings into a more stress-free environment. Work towards positivity and a calmer vibe.
The new kid on the block that is creating all the controversy is the new spinach extract made of spinach leaves. Spinach extract helps reduce fat digestion, leading to an increase in hormones responsible for reducing appetite and hunger.
Studies have shown that consuming spinach extract alongside a meal may aid in reducing appetite and random cravings. Another research shows that five grams of spinach extract a day reduce cravings for chocolate and high sugar foods by 95%.
A person’s appetite is primarily affected by the hormones that change throughout the day. Sleep is an integral factor in ensuring the healthy fluctuations of these hormones. Sleep deprivation leads to irregular flow of hormones and leads to intense cravings and poor appetite. Studies to support these claims reporting that sleep-deprived people are 55% more likely to be obese than well-rested individuals. So make sure you get good sleep to ensure healthy bodily hormone regulations.
Eat Proper Meals
Lack of critical nutrients leads to specific cravings, so it is vital to ensure a healthy diet intake. Make sure you eat proper meals at proper mealtimes. This way, your body gets all the critical nutrients at the appropriate time to ensure proper body function. It also leads to fewer cravings.
If you, however, feel like you need to snack or munch on something, make sure it is a healthy item such as nuts, whole grain chips, fruits, seeds, etc.
Avoid The Supermarket When Hungry
Grocery stores are the first place to be when you are feeling hungry. Firstly because you have aisles full of options to choose from and second supermarkets keep the unhealthy stuff right in front of your vision. So it is evident that going to a supermarket hungry will lead to eating unhealthy snacks.
The temptation is tough to avoid, so make sure you only visit the supermarket after eating and can’t possibly eat more. And never go to the supermarket with an empty stomach.
Indulge In Mindful Eating
When we eat, we do not pay much attention to the process. We simply pick the food we want and start eating, and we do not pay attention to the chewing process or anything else. Some go as far as to pay the slightest attention to the taste. This is where mindful eating comes into the picture. Mindful eating is the concept of paying attention to the things you eat, how you eat when you eat. It is a type of meditation relation between food and eating.
This practice helps you distinguish between cravings and physical hunger. It enables you to be aware of the food you eat and avoid fewer and impulsive food choices. Studies have shown that the practice of mindful eating reduces the habit of binge eating and its severity.
Cravings are pretty average and also typical; however, this familiar practice does have lasting effects. Being aware of your cravings and their triggers will help you address the issue more precisely. Start by following the tips and tricks mentioned above, such as drinking a glass of water, eating more protein, and correcting your sleep pattern. Together these actions will allow you to take control the next time cravings try to take over.