Food cravings are the dieter's worst enemy.
These are intense or uncontrollable desires for specific foods, stronger than normal hunger.
The types of foods that people crave are highly variable, but they are often processed junk foods that are high in sugar.
Cravings are one of the most important reasons why people have problems losing weight and keeping it off.
Here are 11 simple ways to prevent or stop food cravings and unhealthy sugars.
1. drink water
Thirst is often confused with hunger or food cravings.
If you feel a sudden need for a specific food, try drinking a large glass of water and wait a few minutes. It is possible that the desire fades, because his body really only thirsted.
Also, drinking lots of water can have many health benefits. In middle-aged and older people, drinking water before meals can reduce appetite and help lose weight (1, 2, 3).
Bottom line: Drinking water before meals can reduce cravings and appetite, as well as help you lose weight.
2. Eat more proteins
Eating more protein can reduce your appetite and prevent you from overeating.
It also reduces cravings and helps you feel satisfied and satisfied longer (4).
A study of overweight adolescents showed that eating a breakfast rich in protein significantly reduced cravings (5).
Another study in overweight men showed that increasing protein intake to 25% of calories reduced cravings by 60%. In addition, the desire to snack at night was reduced by 50% (6).
Bottom line: Increasing protein intake can reduce cravings by up to 60% and reduce the desire to eat a snack at night by 50%.
3. Distance from the craving
When you feel a craving, try to distance yourself from him.
For example, you can take a quick walk or a shower to change your mind to something else. A change in thinking and the environment can help stop the desire.
Some studies have also shown that chewing gum can help reduce appetite and cravings (7, 8).
Bottom line: Try to distance yourself from desire by chewing gum, taking a walk or taking a shower.
4. Plan your meals
If possible, try to plan your meals for the day or next week.
By knowing what you are going to eat, you eliminate the factor of spontaneity and uncertainty.
If you do not have to think about what to eat at the next meal, you will have fewer temptations and less chance of experiencing cravings.
Bottom line: Planning your meals for the day or next week eliminates spontaneity and uncertainty, which can cause cravings.
5. Avoid being very hungry
Hunger is one of the most important reasons why we experience cravings.
To avoid being very hungry, it may be a good idea to eat regularly and have healthy snacks on hand.
By being prepared and avoiding long periods of hunger, you may be able to prevent the desire from manifesting.
Bottom line: Hunger is a great reason for cravings. Avoid extreme hunger by always having a healthy snack ready.
6. Combat stress
Stress can cause food cravings and influence eating behaviors, especially in women (9, 10, 11).
It has been shown that women under stress consume significantly more calories and experience more cravings than women without stress (12).
In addition, stress raises your cortisol levels in the blood, a hormone that can cause you to gain weight, especially in the belly area (13, 14).
Try to minimize stress in your environment by planning ahead, meditating and generally slowing down.
Bottom line: Being under stress can cause cravings, eat and gain weight, especially in women.
7. Take spinach extract
Spinach extract is a "new" supplement in the market, made from spinach leaves.
It helps delay the digestion of fats, which increases levels of hormones that reduce appetite and hunger, such as GLP-1.
Studies show that taking 3 to 5 grams of spinach extract with a meal can reduce appetite and cravings for several hours (15, 16, 17, 18).
A study in overweight women showed that 5 grams of spinach extract per day reduced chocolate cravings and sugar-rich foods by 87-95% (18).
Bottom line: Spinach extract delays the digestion of fat and increases levels of hormones that can reduce appetite and cravings.
8. Practice conscious feeding
Eating consciously consists of practicing mindfulness, a type of meditation, in relation to food and nutrition.
It teaches you to develop awareness of your eating habits, emotions, hunger, cravings and physical sensations (19, 20).
Eating carefully teaches you to distinguish between cravings and real physical hunger. It helps you choose your answer, instead of acting without thinking or impulsively (21).
Eating consciously means being present while you eat, slow down and chew thoroughly. It is also important to avoid distractions, such as the TV or your smartphone.
A 6-week study in compulsive binges found that eating consciously reduced binge episodes from 4 to 1.5 per week. It also reduced the severity of each binge (22).
Bottom line: Eating consciously consists in learning to recognize the difference between cravings and real hunger, helping you to choose your answer.
9. Get enough sleep
Your appetite is affected to a large extent by the hormones that fluctuate throughout the day.
Sleep deprivation alters fluctuations and can lead to poor appetite regulation and strong cravings (23, 24).
Studies support this and show that people with lack of sleep are up to 55% more likely to become obese, compared to people who get enough sleep (25).
For this reason, sleeping well can be one of the most powerful ways to prevent cravings from appearing.
Bottom line: Lack of sleep can interrupt normal fluctuations in appetite hormones, leading to cravings and poor appetite control.
10. Eat adequate meals
Hunger and lack of key nutrients can cause certain cravings.
Therefore, it is important to eat adequate meals at meals. This way, your body gets the nutrients it needs and will not be very hungry immediately after eating.
If you need to eat something between meals, make sure it is something healthy. Eat whole foods, such as fruits, nuts, vegetables or seeds.
Bottom line: Eating proper meals helps prevent hunger and cravings, while ensuring that your body gets the nutrients it needs.
11. Do not go to the supermarket hungry
The grocery stores are probably the worst places to be when you are hungry or cravings.
First, they give you easy access to almost any food you can imagine. Second, supermarkets often place less healthy foods at eye level.
The best way to prevent cravings from occurring in the store is to buy only when you have eaten recently. Never, never, go to the supermarket hungry.
Bottom line: Eating before going to the supermarket helps reduce the risk of unwanted cravings and impulse purchases.
Bring the message home
Cravings are very common. In fact, more than 50% of people experience cravings regularly (26).
They play an important role in weight gain, food addiction and compulsive eating (27).
Being aware of your cravings and their triggers makes them much easier to avoid. It also makes it much easier to eat healthy and lose weight.
More about cravings:
- A simple 3-step plan to stop sugar cravings
- 10 smart ways to stop eating late at night
Reference: https: //www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-ways-to-stop-food-cravings