Are you among the people who deal with cravings on a daily basis? You’re not alone. Food cravings are the dieter’s number one enemy. Cravings are usually intense and uncontrollable desires for certain types of foods. While different people crave different foods, most of them crave processed junk foods that contain high amounts of sugar.
In fact, most food processors usually create foods with the intention of causing addiction to consumers. They’re always aiming at the “bliss point” in an item. At this point, the consumer experiences a maximum pleasure with fatty, salty, and sweet flavors. Your brain can rarely resist these combinations, and it acts in a similar way as with drug addictions.
Craving is among the major reasons why most people are unable to lose weight. While anyone can succumb to cravings, there are a few steps you can take to control them.
Let’s get started:
1. Plan Ahead
One of the ways to handle cravings is to plan your snacks and meals ahead of time. You’re less likely to order French fries, eat sweets, or grab a leftover piece of pizza if you have a healthy meal or snacks ready at lunchtime.
In other words, you will not be susceptible to food smells, advertisements, or anything that can make you crave junk foods.
If possible, plan your meal for the week on Sunday. Shop for what you need in the grocery and then prepare large amounts of easy foods such as beans, brown rice, cold salads, or roasted vegetables.
Use mason jars, food storage containers, or foil to pack your food to sizes that you can carry on your way to work. Fruits such as bananas, oranges, and apples are easy to carry, making them good afternoon snacks. If you’re not able to bring your food with you, you can order your meal from meal delivery services such as homemade tiffin delivery services. Here you’ll get a wide variety of authentic Indian food.
2. Drink Water
Sometimes it is easy to confuse thirst with hunger. Try drinking more water when you feel a sudden urge to eat certain foods and wait for some minutes. Sometimes the urge for food will fade away after drinking water.
What’s more, drinking a reasonable amount of water comes with many health benefits. Drinking water before meals helps reduce appetite and helps in weight loss for older and middle-aged people.
3. Eat More Protein
Eating enough protein can reduce appetite and help avoid overeating. It also minimizes cravings and makes you feel satisfied for longer.
Some food proteins you can take include beans, fish, vegetables, and nuts. When your stomach is full, you have no room nor desire for junk foods.
4. Manage Your Stress
Sometimes your cravings can be due to an emotional component. For instance, you’re likely to grab leftover cookies or Cheetos when you’re stressed or upset by something.
Think about how you might be eating as a way to distract yourself, stuff feeling, or procrastinating. When you feel the urge to eat or drink something, try redirecting yourself instead of doing the easiest thing.
- Here are some healthy stress management tools you may want to try:
- Taking a walk or run
- Taking some deep breaths
- Talking to a friend or family member
- Engaging in something creative
Try them out to find what works best for you. Talk to a mental health professional or your doctor if your stress persists. They’ll give you emotional support and suggest other coping methods.
5. Exercise Mindful Eating
This is a type of meditation that relates to foods and eating.
Mindful eating will teach you how to differentiate between cravings and real hunger. This way, you can choose how to respond rather than acting impulsively.
It involves being present while eating and chewing slowly and thoughtfully. It also makes sense to avoid watching TV, smartphone, and any other type of distraction.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Not having enough sleep can also play a role in increasing your cravings for junk food. Not getting enough sleep can lead to more hunger and an inability to control snack intake.
It is, therefore, important to sleep earlier every night. Avoid eating your food a few hours before going to sleep. Going to bet with a full stomach can cause sleep problems due to indigestion.
7. Stay Away from Cravings
It is important to stay away from your cravings. Take a shower or a walk to get your mind off the craving. A change in environment or thought can help stop the craving.