10 ways to deal with food cravings
Cravings are uncontrollable and irresistible desires for food. Food cravings are very common. 50% of individuals experience daily cravings. They are the worst enemy for weight loss. Cravings promote binge eating and weight gain.
Cravings are of two types: specific and non-specific. In specific, the cravings will only go away after getting a specific food item from a specific shop or brand, etc. While in non-specific types, the cravings can go away by eating similar items.
Some worth mentioning ways to avoid and prevent the undesired cravings are described below:
Set your eating schedule
Food cravings are less common when you have a proper eating schedule. Your body becomes adapted to getting meals at a specific time. Therefore, unwanted food cravings do not usually disturb you. Hunger is the primary stimulus for food cravings. Avoid getting extremely hungry by eating something healthy between meals.
Keep yourself hydrated
When you feel irresistible food cravings, drinking a large glass of water can help you overcome them. This is because most of the time, thirst can also produce cravings. Relieving thirst relieves cravings too. Furthermore, drinking one or two glasses of water before meals can help you lose weight.
Take a good sleep
A good night’s sleep is essential for the maintenance of healthy body weight. Sleep deprivation produces hormonal imbalance and disturbance of one’s appetite. That’s how a person acquires the habit of late-night cravings. Studies reveal that 55% of individuals with disturbed sleep are more likely to become obese than those with normal sleeping patterns. That’s why setting a proper sleep schedule can be the best way to avoid food cravings.
Keep yourself busy
It may seem impossible to avoid food cravings sometimes. But you may always overcome it by diverting your attention to somewhere else. You can try different ways like calling a friend, going out for a walk, visiting some mall for window shopping, reading your favorite book or listening to music, etc.
A protein diet is usually recommended for weight loss because it causes decreased appetite and the feeling of fullness after meals. Studies have shown that increasing the protein content in the diet reduces the daily cravings by 60% and cuts the desire for late-night snacks by 50%. You can make specific changes in your daily diets by adding more proteins. This will allow you to get proper nutrition along with the prevention of food cravings.
Brush yourself up
Cravings can develop when you don’t brush your teeth after meals. Usually, most of the food gets stuck in the mouth, be it the sugary caramels or chocolates or salty chips, etc. The best way to avoid it is to get the habit of brushing teeth after meals with a good toothpaste and flossing your teeth to prevent any food particles from sticking in your mouth.
Practice mindful eating
Mindful eating is a practice to differentiate between food cravings and the actual hunger of food. It teaches one to eat food slowly with entire focus and to chew properly while avoiding any distractions. Cravings are common when you don’t get satisfied after your daily meals. This can happen when you have your mind diverted at various places while eating food and may even lead to binge eating. Mindful eating is about practicing to focus on eating food while having your daily meals.
Stress is one of the chief causes of food cravings. It promotes emotional eating. Stress eating is usually common in women and associated with obesity. During stress, the levels of stress hormone: cortisol is increased, which promotes the deposition of abdominal fat. Reducing stress can essentially help in the prevention of food cravings.
Plan your meals
Cravings draw the persons’ attention the whole day. They prevent one from focusing on his work and do not go away until one gets the desired food. Planning your meals for the whole day or week can help one fight the undesired cravings. You can make up the whole diet plan according to your taste and desire. This will help you avoid unwanted weight gain.
Distance yourself from cravings
Some food cravings can arise from mentioning certain foods or looking at the food items in commercials, or passing by the restaurants. This can be avoided by changing the daily route and try diverting your mind. You can also try alternative means to reduce food cravings, like chewing a piece of gum. This has been shown to reduce daily food cravings.
Cravings are a dieter’s worst enemy, which leads to weight gain. One should be aware of the difference between his normal hunger and food cravings. Following different ways to avoid unwanted cravings can help promote weight loss and healthy body weight maintenance.