Eight ways to help reduce your food cravings

manage your food cravings

How often do you bow the knee to that intense and uncontrollable desire for a specific food(s)?

All of us experience food cravings differently. Our cravings may come out of nowhere, or it may be triggered by our senses when we see, smell or hear about a specific food. It can also be triggered by our emotions, or hormonal fluctuations such as menstrual cycle or pregnancy.

Whether you selectively crave foods like chocolate, chips, burgers, pizza, etc., or whether you crave for “anything” you can find to stuff into your mouth, can be soul destroying. But – it is of equal importance to know that food cravings don’t have to be your master.

There are a variety of ways / techniques you can follow that will reduce your unwanted food cravings.

1. Eat enough protein

Lean protein should form about a quarter of your diet. Not only does eating protein suppress your appetite, but it also reduces gherlin, a hormone produced in the stomach which controls our appetite. Lower levels of ghrelin cause us to feel fuller for longer.

Studies among overweight men have found that cravings were cut down by almost 60 percent with a protein intake of 25 percent. It also reduced the craving for a bedtime snack by 50 percent.

2. Drink plenty of water

Stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water. This does in fact reduce cravings, because the water will trick the body into thinking it’s full. Water does double duty, since it rids your body of toxins at the same time.

3. Get enough sleep

Not getting enough sleep can throw your hunger-regulating hormones out of kilter. Sleep deprivation results in the suppression of the hormone leptin, which is responsible for the regulation of fat storage and the amount of kilojoules our bodies burn. This imbalance can lead to food cravings (especially for foods that are high in sugar, fat and salt), overeating and piling on the kilograms.

4. Try to reduce your stress levels

Stress can result in emotional eating  –  most likely not steamed broccoli and beetroot, but sweet delights like chocolate or salted snacks like crisps. This can cause all sorts of health problems, not to mention weight gain.

Stress also results in higher levels of the hormone cortisol, which may cause weight gain, especially around the abdomen. Take deep breaths for at least five minutes, five times a day. This may help lower your cortisol levels, ease anxiety and improve your memory.

5. Keep a snack stash – out of sight

Instead of imposing an outright ban on snacking, keep a stash of your favourites. But keep them out of sight in a special cupboard away from your work or living space.

6. Change your habits

We are all creatures of habit and habits are hard to break. But long-term eating habits can be changed by making changes to your routine. You may change when and how you take your meals and where you shop. Instead of giving in to a craving, have a shower, go for a walk, or phone a friend.

7. Don’t skip meals and avoid hunger

Don’t allow yourself to get hungry. Hunger pains will only encourage food cravings – especially processed or fried foods. Make sure you eat healthy foods regularly during the day, as this will help you avoid hunger-induced cravings.

8. Replace your cravings with healthy alternatives

Instead of potato chips, eat a healthier salty snack such as cashews and walnuts. Don’t overdo this, because nuts are high in calories and eating too much can also lead to weight gain.

Instead of chocolate, eat almonds. They’re rich in magnesium and may very well satisfy the urge. Otherwise opt for dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. Other sweet tooth cravings may be satisfied by eating fresh or dried fruit, while you can squeeze fresh orange or lemon into a glass of soda water.

Author: Linda Cilliers

Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318441.php

The Content on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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