You don’t really have to feel guilty about your cravings…
…is normal and you are just being human enough!
Personally, I suffer same with you…my crave for bread, is unimaginable, simply put, is obsessive. I can finish a loaf or two before you could say ‘Hi!’
Is funny, right?
I just want to let you know that is an unhealthy behaviour, but is not abnormal neither is it a crime. But if you aim to achieve weight loss, you have to stay off this unhealthy behaviour of uncontrollable crave for something edible.
The crave for foods especially the unhealthy foods and sugar is a big enemy of weight loss.
I know you will be like: ‘Gosh! There are a whole lot to avoid if one has to lose weight and keep it off permanently.’
Of course, it may seem a lot, but is really not. Recall that; successful and lasting weight loss is a lifestyle that one needs to imbibe.
Haven’t you taken time to list out or ponder on this, ‘The totality of the things to do in order to be alive’?…it may sound easy and simple to you because you have already made ‘staying alive’ a lifestyle. But if you should sit down and make a full list of it, you will be amazed with the volume of paper work you have before you.
Back to the topic…
What is food craving?
This is intense or uncontrollable desires for specific foods, stronger than normal hunger…
…irresistible behaviour towards a particular food. In fact, some have grown their crave to a particular level that the are now allergic to ‘not taking a particular food(s)’.
In fact, some are food-addicts (food version of drug-addicts).
And the types of foods that people crave are highly variable, but these are often processed junk foods that are high in sugar. About 85% of the foods people crave for are unhealthy foods.
Is very much rare to see a person craving for a particular food and it ends up being a well prepared ‘cooked food’.
The unthinkable is the person craving for this food to prepare it him/herself.
Cravings are one of the biggest reasons why people have problems losing weight and keeping it off.
How Can You Stop this Unhealthy Craving Behaviour?
It may not be easy in the beginning, but if you do it our way, you will definitely be happy with the results;
…and what’s this ‘our way’?
Is simply, to be consistent, know your goal, be focused and be positive!
Here are the Simple Ways to Stop the Crave for Unhealthy Foods and Sugar.
- Don’t go to grocery store/supermarket hungry
Grocery stores are probably the worst places to be when you are hungry or have cravings.
First, they give you easy access to pretty much any food you could think of. Second, supermarkets usually place the unhealthiest foods at eye level.
The best way to prevent cravings from happening at the store is to shop only when you’ve recently eaten. Never — ever — go to the supermarket hungry.
- Distance yourself from the craving
When you feel a craving, try to distance yourself from it.
For example, you can take a brisk walk or a shower to shift your mind onto something else. A change in thought and environment may help stop the craving. Some studies have also shown that chewing gum can help reduce appetite and cravings.
- Avoid getting extremely hungry
Hunger is one of the biggest reasons why we experience cravings.
To avoid getting extremely hungry, it may be a good idea to eat regularly and have healthy snacks close at hand.
By being prepared, and avoiding long periods of hunger, you may be able to prevent the craving from showing up at all.
- Plan your meals
If possible, try to plan your meals for the day or upcoming week.
By already knowing what you’re going to eat, you eliminate the factor of spontaneity and uncertainty.
If you don’t have to think about what to eat at the following meal, you will be less tempted and less likely to experience cravings.
- Eat proper meals
Hunger and a lack of key nutrients can both cause certain cravings.
Therefore, it’s important to eat proper meals at mealtimes. This way, your body gets the nutrients it needs and you won’t get extremely hungry right after eating.
If you find yourself in need of a snack between meals, make sure it’s something healthy. Reach for whole foods, such as fruits, nuts, vegetables or seeds.
- Eat more proteins (especially for breakfast)
Eating more protein may reduce your appetite and keep you from overeating.
It also reduces cravings, and helps you feel full and satisfied for longer.One study of overweight teenage girls showed that eating a high-protein breakfast reduced cravings significantly.
Another study in overweight men showed that increasing protein intake to 25% of calories reduced cravings by 60%. Additionally, the desire to snack at night was reduced by 50%.(Culled from authoritynutition website).
- Practice mindful eating
Mindful eating is about practicing mindfulness, a type of meditation, in relation to foods and eating.
It teaches you to develop awareness of your eating habits, emotions, hunger, cravings and physical sensations.
Mindful eating teaches you to distinguish between cravings and actual physical hunger. It helps you choose your response, instead of acting thoughtlessly or impulsively.
Eating mindfully involves being present while you eat, slowing down and chewing thoroughly. It is also important to avoid distractions, like the TV or your smartphone.
- Drink enough water
Thirst is often confused with hunger or food cravings.
If you feel a sudden urge for a specific food, try drinking a large glass of water and wait a few minutes. You may find that the craving fades away, because your body was actually just thirsty.
Furthermore, drinking plenty of water may have many health benefits. In middle-aged and older people, drinking water before meals can reduce appetite and help with weight loss.
- Fight stress
Stress may induce food cravings and influence eating behaviors, especially for women.
Women under stress have been shown to eat significantly more calories and experience more cravings than non-stressed women.
Furthermore, stress raises your blood levels of cortisol, a hormone that can make you gain weight, especially in the belly area.
Try to minimize stress in your environment by planning ahead, meditating and generally slowing down.
- Get enough sleep
Your appetite is largely affected by hormones that fluctuate throughout the day.
Sleep deprivation disrupts the fluctuations, and may lead to poor appetite regulation and strong cravings.
Studies support this, showing that sleep-deprived people are up to 55% more likely to become obese, compared to people who get enough sleep.
For this reason, getting good sleep may be one of the most powerful ways to prevent cravings from showing up.
Cravings are very common. In fact, more than 50% of people experience cravings on a regular basis.
…being aware of your cravings and their triggers makes them much easier to avoid. It also makes it a lot easier to eat healthy and lose weight.
With the above information, you are already set on your journey of curbing your unhealthy food craving attitude.
Do have a great day, all!