Ah, Cravings- the bane of many people’s existence. One minute, you’re patting yourself on the back for how well you have managed to maintain that diet and before you know it, you’ve been overcome with the burning need to devour that muffin that you know you shouldn’t.
Food cravings are a dieter’s worst nightmare. These intense uncontrollable desires for unwanted and often unhealthy food are one of the many reasons why people struggle to lose weight or maintain a healthy one.
Cravings are fueled by feel-goodchemicals in the brain such as dopamine. When you succumb to your cravings and eat bad food, a rush of euphoria is created and the brain will continue to seek this rush until it is satisfied. What’s worse is when we are in full on craving mode, we often convince ourselves that we are hungry which makes it harder to resist.
The best way to keep your cravings in check is to stop the cycle of surrendering to your urges. For this to happen, you need a plan and willpower. Here are some ways to deal with food cravings:
Hunger can have you craving for things that you should not eat because of low blood sugar. As such, always ensure that you do not go longer than 5 hours without eating something healthy. Pick snacks that are low in calories and fat to prevent your blood sugar from dropping.
Eat more calories
If you have been eating less than you should, you are also bound to deal with cravings. A diet that is lower than 1,000 calories places your body in automatic craving mode. Additionally, cravings are also more likely to happen when you restrict specific food groups from your diet, which consequently leads to binging and overeating when the opportunity presents itself.
Instead of completely doing away with certain types of food like carbs, find a way to enjoy them in controlled portions. For example, reward yourself once every 2 weeks by sharing a slice of your favorite cake with your friend.
You may not even realize it but seemingly ordinary routines create powerful associations. For instance, watching the Food Network because it is your favorite will probably do little to suppress your cravings. To prevent yourself from succumbing, consider distancing yourself from everything that triggers your cravings including smells, sounds, and sights.
Plan your meals
If possible, try and plan out your weekly meals before the week starts. If you already know what you are going to eat, it stands to reason that you will have eliminated any chance of spontaneity or uncertainty. Ultimately, you will be less tempted throughout the week.