Food cravings are one of the most frustrating aspects of dieting. Not only are food cravings frustrating, but they are one of the main reasons that people face when trying to lose weight.
The types of food that people crave can vary quite a bit, but typically cravings are associated with junk foods that contain a lot of sugar.
Here are 8 simple tips for eliminating cravings and sticking to your diet.
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Many times, people confuse food cravings and hunger with thirst.
If you feel a sudden craving come on, try drinking a large glass of water. After a few minutes, you may find that the desire fades away because you were merely thirsty.
Not only does water quench your thirst, but it also has health benefits as well. Studies suggest that people who drink water before meals, eat less and lose more weight.
Therefore, drink plenty of water throughout the day to reduce your cravings and help with weight loss.
2. Separate Yourself from the Craving
Oftentimes, the simplest way to stop a craving is to distance yourself from it.
For example, you could take a quick walk, empty your dishwasher, or read a book. Sometimes a simple change of environment can help stop cravings.
There are even studies that suggest that chewing gum can help keep your cravings in check and reduce your appetite.
So, the next time a craving takes over, simply engage in another activity.
3. Eat More Protein
Protein is often associated with appetite suppression and can keep you from overeating. In addition, protein is known to reduce cravings and can help you feel full longer.
One study involving overweight men revealed that increasing protein intake to 25% of total calories reduced cravings by 60%. Additionally, the desire to snack at night was reduced by 50%.
4. Plan Your Meals in Advance
It’s always a good idea to try and plan your meals in advance for the upcoming day or week.
When you don’t have to think about what to eat, you are less tempted to give in to your cravings.
You are also much less likely to eat mindlessly and spontaneously – which often throws a wrench in your diet.
5. Avoid Getting Extremely Hungry
One of the main reasons people experience cravings is because they are hungry.
Therefore, make sure to eat at regular intervals throughout the day.
Also, you may want to have healthy snacks, such as apples, blueberries, or strawberries on hand if you tend to fight with feeling hungry.
6. Minimize Stress
There are several studies that suggest that stress often brings on food cravings and can even influence eating behaviors.
One study, in particular, shows that women under stress eat significantly more calories and experience more cravings than women who are non-stressed.
In addition, stress can raise cortisol levels in your blood which can cause you to gain weight, especially in your belly area.
Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to your stress levels and engage in stress minimizing behaviors such as meditating, gentle exercise, and deep breathing.
7. Get Enough Sleep
Many people don’t realize that your appetite is affected by fluctuations in your hormone levels.
Moreover, when you don’t get enough sleep, these fluctuations are disrupted which leads to intense cravings and poor appetite regulation.
In fact, studies support this and suggest that sleep-deprived individuals are more than 55% more likely to become obese in comparison to individuals who get enough sleep.
Therefore, creating a good sleep habit may be one of the most important ways to prevent cravings.
8. Don’t Go Grocery Shopping Hungry
When you’re feeling hungry, a grocery store is one of the worst places to be.
Not only do they give you easy access to the foods that you are most craving, they even place those foods at eye level, to make it almost impossible to resist.
The best way to avoid the trap of stocking your grocery store with bags of cookies and chips is to never walk into a grocery store when you are hungry.
Food cravings are a common problem. In fact, more than 50% of individuals experience cravings every day.
In addition, cravings also play a major role in food addiction, gaining weight, and binge eating.
The best way to prevent giving into cravings is to know what triggers them and putting simple solutions in place to combat them.