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10 Tips to Avoid Unhealthy Food Cravings

binge eating

Almost everyone has experienced unhealthy food cravings. Truth is, about half of the population experience these cravings on a regular basis.

Food cravings are different from the usual hunger that we feel. When a person has food cravings, he usually has an intense desire to consume a specific food. Unfortunately, these food cravings are usually for unhealthy food items like cravings for sweets, salty and fatty foods.

cravings
Before you give in to your unhealthy food cravings, try following these tips.
Photo Credit: Fitting It All In

Interestingly, there are actually many ways to stop these unhealthy cravings.

Here are 10 tips to resist giving in to your unhealthy food cravings:

1. Drink water.

Oftentimes, people confuse thirst with hunger or food cravings. So, if you feel like you’re craving for a specific food, drink a glass of water instead. Drinking water before a meal also reduces your food craving, thus, making you eat less and avoid further weight gain.

2. Consume more protein.

Consuming more protein may reduce appetite and makes one feel fuller longer. A couple of scientific studies revealed that eating high protein meals reduces cravings significantly.

3. Plan your meals.

If you find it hard to resist your cravings, try planning your meals for the day or the week. This helps avoid spontaneous cravings. Always keep a healthy meal or snack on hand based from your meal plan.

4. Stay away from the craving.

When you are craving for a specific food, try to stay away from it and divert your attention so you won’t have to have to give in to it. For example, try to take a walk, take a shower or chew gum instead. Some studies have even revealed that chewing gum may help reduce your cravings.

5. Don’t starve yourself.

When you starve yourself, you would feel intense hunger, thus, making you eat more than usual. What’s even worse is that the unhealthy cravings come when we feel really hungry. Try to always have a snack handy to avoid starving yourself. When you aren’t too hungry, you would find that you would eat much less.

6. Manage stress.

Studies have shown that stress induces unhealthy food cravings. Moreover, women who are stressed eat significantly more calories than women who are not stressed. Try to avoid stress, if possible or manage your stress by diverting your energy to something that will make you avoid craving unhealthy food, like exercising.

7. Mind what you eat.

Mindful eating is practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is a type of meditation where you develop an awareness of your eating habits, hunger, emotions and even physical sensations. When we mind what we eat, we are conscious of how we consume a meal: we chew our food thoroughly and we don’t rush finishing our meal which makes us consume less food.

A six-week study which involved binge eaters who practice mindful eating revealed practicing mindful eating reduces binge eating significantly from four to just 1.5 in a week. Moreover, these binge eaters ate less than the usual amount of food they eat.

8. Get enough sleep.

Our appetite is greatly affected by the hormones in our body. Fluctuations in our hormone levels may lead to poor appetite regulation and strong unhealthy cravings. Several studies have also found that people who are sleep deprived are 55% more likely to become obese as compared to people who have enough sleep.

9. Eat balanced and nutritious meals.

When our body lacks certain essential nutrients, it can cause us to have unhealthy cravings, that is why nutritionists recommend eating healthy, balanced meals. However, if you find yourself in need for a snack, satisfy your craving by eating something nutritious and low calorie, like fresh fruits, whole wheat bread or a vegetable salad.

10. Make sure you are full when you go to the supermarket.

Going to the supermarket on an empty stomach is the worst situation to be in specially when you are trying to control your cravings. When you go to the supermarket hungry, you might not be able to resist buying unhealthy foods since you have access to almost any kind of food. Moreover, the unhealthiest food items are usually displayed in the supermarket shelves at an eye level. Make sure you have eaten before you go to the supermarket to avoid giving in to your unhealthy cravings and impulsive buying.

Cravings are normal and common. However, most of the time, we simply cannot control ourselves from binging because of our unhealthy cravings, which can cause weight problems in the future.

Find out what triggers your cravings and try to avoid giving into your unhealthy cravings. Following these tips can help you stop your unhealthy food cravings.

Source: Authority Nutrition

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