Wellness Wednesday: 7 Ways To Beat Those Bad Food Cravings
Food cravings are the dieter’s worst enemy. They are intense or uncontrollable desires for specific foods, stronger than normal hunger and the types of foods that people crave are highly variable, but these are often processed junk foods that are high in sugar.
Cravings are one of the biggest reasons why people have problems losing weight and keeping it off so here are 7 simple ways to prevent or stop unhealthy food and sugar cravings.
Thirst is often confused with hunger or food cravings.
If you feel a sudden urge for a specific food, try drinking a large glass of water and wait a few minutes. You may find that the craving fades away, because your body was actually just thirsty.
Furthermore, drinking plenty of water may have many health benefits. In middle-aged and older people, drinking water before meals can reduce appetite and help with weight loss.
Eat More Protein
Eating more protein may reduce your appetite and keep you from overeating. It also reduces cravings, and helps you feel full and satisfied for longer.
One study of overweight teenage girls showed that eating a high-protein breakfast reduced cravings significantly (5).
Another study in overweight men showed that increasing protein intake to 25% of calories reduced cravings by 60%. Additionally, the desire to snack at night was reduced by 50%.
Distance Yourself From The Craving
When you feel a craving, try to distance yourself from it. For example, you can take a brisk walk or a shower to shift your mind onto something else. A change in thought and environment may help stop the craving.
Some studies have also shown that chewing gum can help reduce appetite and cravings.
Plan Your Meals
If possible, try to plan your meals for the day or upcoming week because by already knowing what you’re going to eat, you eliminate the factor of spontaneity and uncertainty.
If you don’t have to think about what to eat at the following meal, you will be less tempted and less likely to experience cravings.
Avoid Getting Extremely Hungry
Hunger is one of the biggest reasons why we experience cravings.
To avoid getting extremely hungry, it may be a good idea to eat regularly and have healthy snacks close at hand and by being prepared, and avoiding long periods of hunger, you may be able to prevent the craving from showing up at all.
Don’t Go To The Supermarket Hungry
Grocery stores are probably the worst places to be when you are hungry or have cravings.
First, they give you easy access to pretty much any food you could think of. Second, supermarkets usually place the unhealthiest foods at eye level.
The best way to prevent cravings from happening at the store is to shop only when you’ve recently eaten. Never — ever — go to the supermarket hungry.
Take Spinach Extract
Spinach extract is a “new” supplement on the market, made from spinach leaves.
It helps delay fat digestion, which increases the levels of hormones that reduce appetite and hunger, such as GLP-1.
Studies show that taking 3.7–5 grams of spinach extract with a meal may reduce appetite and cravings for several hours.
One study in overweight women showed that 5 grams of spinach extract per day reduced cravings for chocolate and high-sugar foods by a whopping 87–95%.