You realize that you are struggling to overcome a food addiction, but you have no idea how to do it effectively. One of the factors that is making it hard for you is experiencing food cravings, all of them unwanted. Cravings are very intense desires that you cannot control, and they tend to be stronger than actual hunger, so it is understandable to struggle with them.
The thing though is that most cravings are usually for junk foods and sugar, even though the specifics are highly variable. These cravings are the reason why so many people are struggling with losing weight and also maintaining a healthy limit, but there are ways you can achieve it effectively. Read on to find out some of them.
This may seem strange, but it is actually easy for the brain to confuse food cravings or hunger with thirst, which is why dehydration brings a sharp increase for unhealthy foods.
If you are suddenly feeling the urge to eat something, try drinking a full glass of water and wait for some time, probably a few minutes. The craving will then begin to fade, since the problem was the body being actually thirsty instead of hungry.
In addition, water is more important than the junk foods and sweet treats you are craving, as it actually has some health advantages. For instance, for older and middle aged people, drinking a glass of water before taking a meal can help you to lose weight and help to reduce appetite. This helps you to not find yourself eating more than you should.
Eating more amounts of proteins
Not many people may be are of this fact, but consumption of proteins can help to curb cravings and reduces your appetite. They help to keep you satisfied for a longer time, similar to what complex carbohydrates do.
This has actually been confirmed by various scientific studies. For instance, a study done on some overweight teen girls revealed that when they ate a breakfast that was high in proteins, their cravings were significantly reduced – in fact, by as much as 60 percent.
Distracting yourself from the cravings
One strategy that is underrated but works is attempting to distract yourself from the urge to eat. For example, if you find yourself having thoughts of eating a tub of ice cream, go outside and take a brisk walk while listening to some music to take your mind off it. You can also take a shower if you are at home. When you change your environment and thoughts that can help to reduce the craving and stop you from thinking so much about it.
Another tactic you can use is chewing gum to reduce your appetite, although this can make you have some gas or feel bloated if you chew on an empty stomach.
Plan out your meals in advance
It is important to plan out your meals for the upcoming week if you can, and this will reduce your chances of binge eating and taking fast food. If you have a healthy meal in place for every breakfast, lunch and dinner, chances are less you will go get some fries, pizza, or eating treats that your friend or colleague is offering you.
The other way to explain this is that you are reducing your ‘food cue reactivity’. In other words, this is the vulnerability to succumbing to food influences from external sources, such as advertisements, conversations around you, and even smells.
Make sure to use your r weekend and off days to plan out your meals in advance, and make a grocery shopping list to help you save time and shop for what you need. Then when you get back home, you prepare large batches of food, such as stir-fried vegetables, brown rice, beans and salads. You can then divide up all this food into containers, one set for each day of the week, and they need to be easy to carry for your working days.
Fruits that include apples and oranges can be a great addition because they are easy to carry, so you can keep them on yourwork desk to act as an extra supplement to your food.
Avoid becoming extremely hungry
One of the major causes of cravings is extreme hunger, so you need to avoid it as much as you can. One of the ways to beat it is by eating healthily on a regular basis, and have some healthy snacks close to you.
Make sure to consume a proper and healthy breakfast, for instance/ as long as you are fully prepared and avoid long stretches of hunger, you should be fine and you have lesser chances of experiencing cravings, if at all.
Have effective ways of dealing with stress
Did you know that one of the major reasons for cravings showing up is due to stress? When you have had a long day or you are under pressure because of something like work deadlines, fast foods are one of the ways you want to use to cope with it – especially if you are a woman.
When you are under stress, you tend to consume a significantly greater amount of calories compared to a non-stressed woman, according to scientific studies. This is because the brain releases cortisol when in this state, and this hormone increases your tendency to gain weight, particularly in your belly.
If you want to fight a binge eating session after a long day, do your best to reduce the stress in your environment, and use strategies such as going for a walk to clear your mind, meditation, or just generally slowing down.
Mindful eating habits
This will teach you to appreciate what you are eating, including the taste, the emotions it gives you, and the physical sensations you get. It is also important to shut off distractions, and you experience less cravings afterward.
Even though dealing with food addiction is not a walk in the park, just like drug addiction like marijuana addiction, it is possible to overcome it. By using these strategies, you can reduce you cravings for unhealthy foods, and teach yourself how to eat correctly and healthy.