Learning to control cravings when you’re trying to lose weight can be difficult. Maximum weight loss means staying on course. With these tips, you’ll be on the road to a slimmer you in no time.
Food cravings are more than just longing for the kinds of foods you’re trying to avoid while dieting. Cravings are all about your body and mind—it’s about emotions, mind-set, hormones and nutrition. Food cravings are powerful—it’s that nagging in the back of your head that makes you want to empty the freezer of every bit of ice cream and every chicken nugget you can find. Understanding triggers and learning how you can avoid them is the key.
Emotions, feeling stressed, anger, depression and boredom can make you want an instant boost, which can lead to binge eating. Hormonal swings from pregnancy or illness could result in you grabbing all of the wrong things to eat. Finally, blood sugar imbalance actually creates a physical need for food.
Staving off cravings is all about knowledge and strategy. Knowing what you can eat to curb your cravings when you’re about to eat the house down will not only crush the crave, it will nourish and nurture your body. Adding strategy—preparation and recognizing triggers—will arm you.
Don’t Starve Yourself
You’ve heard this hundreds of times already, but it’s true—and really important. When you’re hungry, it means your blood sugar is low. You seriously need to eat. Don’t wait until you’re so famished you end up grabbing the quickest thing you can find. Plan ahead. Have a container of trimmed celery, carrot sticks and bell pepper strips ready to go. Munch on them throughout the day, and you’ll not only keep hunger at bay, you’ll get essential vitamins as well.
Take Your Vitamins
Studies show that cravings are often linked to vitamin deficiencies. Get a good vitamin/mineral supplement and take it every day. Taken with a balanced diet, supplements will actually help curb cravings, which will keep you on track.
Get Your Fiber
Dietary fiber is the part of food that can’t be absorbed through the intestinal tract. There are two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble, and you need both. Soluble fiber draws and keeps moisture in your bowels for easier elimination, while insoluble fiber—also known as roughage—passes through, sweeping the digestive tract clean. On average, you need about 28 grams of fiber daily. Better than taking fiber supplements, eating high-fiber foods satisfies cravings, keeps you from getting hungry and keeps you on track. It really isn’t hard to get the fiber you need, and you can eat your fiber and still lose maximum weight.
Eat Foods That Naturally Curb Cravings
Every time you eat, make sure you’re getting a little bit of protein, a little bit of healthy fat and a high fiber carb. This keeps your blood sugar from yo-yoing, which keeps you from getting those kinds of cravings that make you want to claw walls.
Write It Down
Keeping a journal is one of the best tools for successful weight loss. Write down every bite you take, how you feel, what you’re thinking—write it all down. Look back at the day before and see what you learn. You’ll be surprised how much it helps.