Don’t give in to food cravings
Resisting the urge to devour our favourite (unhealthy) foods can not only seem difficult, but downright impossible at times, derailing our attempts to eat well.
And simply using willpower isn’t the answer. These urges are fueled by feel-good brain chemicals such as dopamine, which is released when you eat these types of foods and then creates a rush of euphoria that your brain then seeks to experience again and again.
What you need is a plan that stops this natural cycle.
1. Identify your craving triggers
Emotional eating is a real phenomenon. If you pay attention, you may find that your cravings are worse when you are stressed or depressed. Managing those situations will help stop cravings.
2. Get enough sleep
Loss of sleep increases hunger during the day, which leads to cravings. Getting the right amount of shut-eye could stop cravings.
3. Drink water
Water can be a powerful appetite suppressant if you drink a glass when you first start feeling hungry. It does take a little discipline, but when you experience food cravings, try to get into the habit of drinking a large glass of water and waiting 10 minutes.
4. Never try to starve yourself
This strategy usually backfires on you. This is because your blood sugar drops and makes you more likely to binge. This will only cause you more problems. Try eating a piece of fruit or some berries instead.
5. Distract yourself
Often we are too quick to give into our cravings. By changing this behaviour, we can be successful at fighting these cravings. Let’s say you’re craving something salty, instead of eating a high-fat snack such as a packet of crisps, eat a healthier alternative such as a handful of nuts.
Refusing to give in to a craving can feel rather uncomfortable, but it will pass. We are not talking about days or hours, only minutes! You need to realise consciously that these few minutes can make the difference between success and failure on a diet. There is power in this knowledge, because it allows us to take action to regain control.