Deal With Your Food Cravings
Craving is often term as strong desire to have something. Food cravings are something we all deal with at some point in time. Have you ever got a craving to eat chocolates at night or to binge on some dessert when you are stressed or snack untimely even after eating food? Surely a yes for most. Often people crave for processed junk foods that are high in sugar and fat.Most times these unwanted cravings lead to eating the wrong foods and eating more than what is required thus leading to weight gain. Good weight loss programs will help you tackle not only the unwanted weight but also the food cravings that may exist.
So, the question is to how does one overcome these cravings? We have some tips just for you here:
- Stop and ask yourself if stress is a reason to your craving
Many a time people binge eat or treat themselves with desserts when they are under stress. Under pressure, our body releases a stress hormone – cortisol which gives a sign to the brain that some reward is desired which are basically comfort foods. When we eat these sugar foods another hormone is released called the serotonin which calms and relaxes us and makes us feel better quickly. So, when you treat your body with a reward or as a retort to negative feelings such as anger or sadness, we unintentionally build a controlling connection with a brain. With this in any unpleasant experience or encounter the brain asks for the same kind of food as it gets coded in the memory.
To get over it research studies have shown that we can stimulate happiness by diverting our attention when in an unpleasant situation by listening to some music or reading a book which can distract our mind and there is an emotional release also.
- Ask yourself if eating less is what is making you crave for certain foods
When you are eating fewer than desired calories or restricting yourself completely from an entire food group, your body will start craving for it more. Restraining yourself from certain food groups or calories doesn’t always lead to weight loss. In fact it triggers the brain for more food thus leading to overeating. Research studies have shown that when a certain food group was restricted, reports of more craving for that particular food group was seen.
What can be done to get over this craving is to lift a ban and eat all food groups in controlled portions. You can also can treat yourself with a cheat meal (in measured amounts) once in a while to stop the cravings.
- Ask yourself if you are sleep deprived
People who are sleep deprived have low level of the hormone, leptin which signals satiety and increased level of the hormone, ghrelin which triggers appetite. Craving for foods is increased by the changes in hormone level. When the body is deprived of sleep and does not get enough rest, our blood sugar levels fluctuate and this increases cravings for sugar and processed foods which are addictive. The more we eat these foods the more our body craves for them. That is why it is very important to get enough sleep as a part of a healthy lifestyle.
- Ask yourself if you are drinking enough water
Very often thirst is mixed up with hunger or food cravings. Lack of water can manifest as a mild hunger, so the wise thing to do when you have a craving is to have a glass of water. Drinking water suppress this cravings as body is actually thirsty.
Also drinking adequate water is beneficial to health and it reduces appetite and aids in weight loss.
- Ask yourself if you are eating sufficient protein
A study at Wageningen University in the Netherlands found that people on low protein diets had stronger cravings. Often when we are craving for sugar it is because we need more protein in our diet. Also, protein increases the satiety level thus making you feel full and satisfied for longer time. This indirectly suppresses your appetite and aids in weight loss.
- Ask yourself if you are eating a healthy breakfast
New research is pointing to the fact that a protein rich breakfast boosts an important neurotransmitter which may lower food cravings later in the day. There is a dramatic decline in the craving for sweet foods and savory – high fat foods. So, if you are skipping breakfast or not paying real attention to what you are eating during breakfast then it would be a time to get up and take notice of the fact that your food cravings could be a result of this habit.
- Ask yourself if you are eating mindfully
Practicing mindfulness while eating means giving full attention to your food it deserves.
Mindfulness helps you identify between cravings and actual hunger sensations. Often people gets confused between hunger and cravings. With mindful eating, one tends to avoid eating thoughtlessly without thinking.
Also, mindful eating connects one with the food they are eating. It makes you concentrate on chewing thoroughly and helps you know when to stop if you are full. A 6 week study of binge eaters showed that mindful eating not only reduced the episodes of binge eating but also the severity of binge eating.
Lastly, remember we are all humans and we all experience cravings at some point in time or the other. Each individual is different so the strategy that works with one may not work with the other. For most times the strategies may work but sometimes they may not. Don’t fret if that should happen. Jump right back on the wagon and get going at working on those cravings again. And should you need professional help, nutritionists offering weight loss programs at any of the weight loss centers in Mumbai may be able to help you with your weight goals as well as help you deal with the food cravings that you may have.