No matter how healthy you’re trying to eat, there are some days when you simply don’t feel like eating chicken breast again. And if you’re experiencing food cravings, let me tell you: “You’re not alone in this!” Actually, according to various studies, 90% of the world’s population gets food cravings pretty often, and in most cases, they become pretty difficult to ignore. You might fall into the trap of eating too many calories and low-nutrient foods.
If you are worried about these food cravings that can interfere with your progress, then you should know why they happen and how you can stop them from re-appearing.
Let’s see what the most effective ways are to fight them and how you can do that on your own!
Avoid restrictive diets
Yes, you heard me right! Trying to stick to a restrictive diet won’t help you achieve your goals. In fact, you’re far from that. Let’s say you’re having a hard time eating fries simply because they’re fattening and you’ve heard that carbs make you fat. That’s a lie. In fact, there are lots of other healthy alternatives to cooking potatoes that are less fatty and harmless to your body.
What’s more, a lot of studies have proved that people who engage themselves in overly restrictive diets are likely to experience more food cravings compared to others who don’t. Instead of trying out a new diet that you saw in a magazine, focus on developing a healthy eating pattern that nourishes the body and lets you enjoy having a cheat day once a week.
Stop obsessing over calories
This is one huge mistake people tend to make every time they start a diet. Besides the fact that counting calories takes a lot of minutes of your time, it won’t bring any joy into your life. Furthermore, you will become annoyed if somehow you manage to overcome them, because, let’s face it, it might be a pain in the neck to stay under 1500 calories per day. I am not saying food tracking is not OK, but only if it’s for a short period of time.
If your plate is well-balanced and contains both proteins and healthy carbs, you don’t need to worry about counting calories. However, if you’re struggling with food cravings despite this advice, you should take into consideration talking to a dietitian.
Don’t let yourself get too hungry throughout the day
Allowing oneself to become very hungry may raise the likelihood of developing strong food cravings, even though hunger is a natural bodily signal that shouldn’t be feared. It’s likely that you haven’t given your body any food for a while if you’re feeling insatiably hungry. Your blood sugar levels may be low as a result, and your body may tell you to eat high-energy foods to bring them back up to the usual range. On the other hand, you’re less likely to experience intense food cravings when your blood sugar levels are constant.
You don’t have to eat every two or three hours in order to keep your blood sugar levels normal and steady. You must pay attention to your hunger and provide it with the nutrients and an appropriate quantity of food as needed.
Eat enough calories
It’s pretty important to give your body the right amount of nutrients it needs for proper functioning. Your body will naturally want you to eat if you don’t get enough calories and nutrients, which might result in intense cravings for particular foods. A lot of research shows that a calorie deficit can increase cravings, especially if you’re planning on doing this for a long period of time.
Don’t forget that for a healthy diet, you must have at least 3 important meals per day and at least 1 snack in between. Instead of eating unhealthy foods like pastries, try whole fruits and vegetables (even carrots can make an awesome healthy snack). And don’t worry about the calorie restriction!
Drink some coffee
It’s been scientifically proven that coffee has a stronger influence on your appetite compared to water. When you drink one cup of coffee, you will be less tempted to grab something to munch on. Don’t be afraid if you end up craving a sweet little treat! Because there is a good chance of staying moderate and never going overboard.
If by any chance you can’t drink caffeine, we have good news! Apparently, many studies have found that decaffeinated coffee suppresses food cravings.
Allow yourself to enjoy your favorite foods
If you want to have a healthy body, it’s important to limit your intake of certain foods, such as processed ones and those high in added sugar. However, a lot of people fall into the trap of avoiding eating certain foods completely because they have read a lot of false things about them and they think these foods will instantly make them fat. But by doing this, you will only get even more food cravings.
Doctors say that being more flexible in your daily diet may help you with your weight loss journey. You can sneak your favorite foods into your diet even if they are not the healthiest option and you’ve been trying to avoid them for months. From time to time, allow yourself to eat whatever you want. Flexibility is the key to success!
Do a light workout
Before you start thinking about a 6-pack, think about the fact that a high-intensity workout will make you hungry. Instead, pick a low-intensity workout, like a simple bodyweight workout that could as well be cardio. To also make sure you’re booting the cravings before the workout, you can have a protein shake before or eat a tiny slice of bread with peanut butter. It will help you feel energized.
Stress can affect eating habits and trigger desires for food, especially in women. For instance, a 2015 study involving 619 individuals discovered that chronic stress had a strong and direct impact on food desires. This may be the case because persistent stress damages physiological processes and hormones involved in controlling appetite, and persistent stress is frequently linked to a higher risk of becoming overweight or even obese.
Try to minimize the stress in your environment as much as possible by meditating, slowing down, and planning ahead for every detail of your daily routine.
Get enough sleep
Believe it or not, your food cravings are influenced by your sleep routine. An overall lack of sleep might affect your brain pretty badly, especially the amygdala and the front cortex, which can increase your desire for certain foods at any given hour. Because if you can’t sleep well during the night, you might be tempted to get out of bed for a midnight snack. Lack of sleep can also be associated with diabetes, depression, and heart disease. That’s why you might want to aim for at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
How many hours of sleep do you get at night?
Despite the fact that cravings are a red flag for a lot of people, they are very common. In fact, more than 60% of people experience them. That’s why food cravings are probably the dieter’s biggest enemy! But with these 9 hacks, you may be able to fight them next time they try to take over.
You may also be interested in reading about other healthy tips regarding diets. Today’s suggestion is 4 Best Foods to Add to Your Diet.