Wondering how to stop food cravings? You have gone on a diet for the past month and exercised yourself to the maximum. The results are visible; you feel fantastic; everything is fine. Suddenly you realize that sometimes you have extreme craving for food. It is so uncontrollable that you succumb very easily. This is quite disappointing but very common. Here are some tips on how to stop food cravings.
Food cravings can cause any dieter tip off balance. You can even turn into a person who is addicted to food mentally, physically and emotionally. But don’t worry, help is at hand. Read on to know how to stop food cravings.
What is food craving?
Before you know how to stop food cravings, it is important to know the difference between cravings and hunger. Food craving is a strong urge to eat a particular food item. You can get food cravings whether or not you are hungry. This urge is very strong and mostly lasts only 10 – 15 minutes.
Food cravings are more of an emotional need than a physical one. It is seen that most commonly a person craves for high carb foods. These foods can be cakes , pastries , chips , chocolates, desserts , ladoos and other Indian sweets. A lot of people who are addicted to caffeine crave for cold drinks , coffee and tea .
Why do I get food cravings?
1] To seek comfort and warmth during emotional breakouts.
2] Depression and stress may lower serotonin levels and may fatigue the adrenal gland which may lead to cravings for sweets and carbs.
3] Being on a diet can make you crave for things. Specially those things which you know are inappropriate for that time.
Now that you know what food cravings are and how you get them, here are some tips on how to stop food cravings.
How to stop food cravings?
Food cravings can get in the way of your health goals. To stop this from happening, you can follow the tips given below about how to stop food cravings.
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- Know the difference between real hunger and a craving: When you want to solve a problem you attack its roots. As mentioned earlier, hunger is your physical need, while craving is your emotional need and will die off in 10 – 15 minutes, you should never suppress hunger. But its best to suppress your craving if you are watching your weight. It is just a matter of 10 – 15 mins , then the cravings will wash off automatically.
- Know the triggers: Cravings are usually triggered responses. You need to know what makes you crave for a certain thing. Knowing the triggers and avoiding them can help you achieve the health goal. ex – if you crave for sweets post lunch / dinner meals , chew on some fennel seeds / roasted sounf or chew on a sugar free gum immediately after the meals. strong flavors of these foods will divert your mind and you will not crave.
- Distract yourself: Cravings are all in the mind , and hence the key to controlling them also depends on how well you distract your mind. We know that cravings don’t last long, hence when you crave for something, engage yourself in some work or call a friend or go for a walk. Don’t get into watching television. A lot of people tend to crave for food all the more while watching television.
- Brush your teeth – I suggest this to a lot of my clients. and they benefit from it. If you crave for something while you are at home, it is best to brush your teeth with a minty paste. The strong taste of the paste will help you overcome all your cravings.
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- Don’t starve yourself: Hunger can also trigger cravings. So if you are wondering about how to stop food cravings, the key is in your hand. All you need to do is eat ! Studies have confirmed that people who eat small frequent meals crave less for sugary foods than those who are stuck with 3 meal pattern.
- Don’t skip breakfast: It is advisable that you do not skip breakfast. Consuming high fibre food with lots of liquid for breakfast will assure an energetic day ahead with no food cravings.
- Get enough sleep: In a University of Chicago study, researchers found that people who slept only four hours a night for two nights had an 18 percent decrease in leptin, a hormone that tells the brain there is no need for more food, and a 28 percent increase in ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger. This causes an increase in appetite and a preference for calorie-dense, high carbohydrate foods like potato chips, cookies, etc. So make sure you sleep well for a minimum of 6 hours at a single strech to have a healthy functioning mind and tongue.
- Eat healthy food if you have craving: If you still are struggling with craving, try to go for healthy food rather than junk food. You can grab a carrot instead of french fries, eat an apple instead of a burger and have popcorn instead of potato chips.
Now that you know how to stop food cravings, don’t lose it in front of the cravings.