There is no doubt that cravings can derail any weight loss plan. However, there are some tricks that can help people avoid these snack attacks and keep their diet on track. Here are 10 easy tips to help you curb cravings while dieting:
1. Drink Water
Water is a great way to curb cravings for a couple of reasons. First, thirst can often manifest as hunger, so drinking water will gratify the need to put something in the mouth and swallow, and the volume of the water will curb any hunger that is truly there. Water is also very important for the body's metabolism. Dehydration can slow your metabolism, meaning that you are burning less fat.
Exercise is a great way to reduce cravings. It provides an energy boost that negates the need for an afternoon sugar jolt. In addition, exercise has a number of positive effects on the body and mind. It doesn't need to be anything overly strenuous. Some simple yoga poses or a walk around the office building will do the trick.
3. Eat at Regular Intervals
Most experts recommend people eat three meals and two snacks, or five small meals per day. This keeps blood sugar at normal levels and prevents spikes and drops. When blood sugar drops, the body will crave sugary foods, so eating regularly will prevent this. Meals should be balanced with lots of fruits and veggies as well as protein. This will help the body feel fuller, longer.
4. Snack Wisely
If you really need a snack, it's important to snack wisely. Instead of reaching for the doughnuts or potato chips, opt instead for a handful of nuts, some fresh fruit or a smoothie. These things are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. A study in the International Journal of Obesity found that those who snacked on almonds lost more weight than those who didn't, but they caution that it's easy to over eat nuts, so be careful with portion control.
5. Eat a Balanced Breakfast
It's a fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After sleeping all night, the body needs fuel to function properly. By eating a healthy breakfast, the body will have all the energy needed to make it through the morning sans cravings.
6. Physical or Emotional?
Often people eat for emotional reasons. In fact, this is frequently the root cause of many eating disorders. Try to find a healthier means of alleviating emotional distress aside from eating. Think of a fun activity, or some type of exercise for relieving stress, or to cope with emotional issues. If all else fails, seek professional assistance before turning towards something unhealthy, like overeating.
7. Incorporate Healthy Fats and Protein
Healthy fats and proteins will help the body feel fuller longer, and block the triggering affect that carbohydrates have on the brain. Basically, when carbs are consumed with protein, the body will crave carbs less than if they are eaten alone. Protein and healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fats, also help keep blood sugar level, leading to less spikes and crashes that often result in unhealthy snacking, so incorporate healthy fats and proteins into each meal.
8. Flavor Fix
Taste is critical to appetite satisfaction. Processed foods are often loaded with salt and sugar, but the keys to great taste are herbs and spices. Herbs and spices can be combined in countless ways to enhance the flavor of wholesome food. By learning to use herbs and spices, people can reduce their cravings. Fresh herbs and spices always work better, but they aren't always available in all areas. Most herbs and spices are available dried and are a perfect substitute in most recipes.
9. Vitamins and Supplements
It's common for people to have cravings if they are deficient in certain vitamins or minerals. For example, those who are deficient in iron may crave red meat, since it is a good source of iron. There are a number of supplements that can be helpful to curbing cravings, but most people, whether they have problems with cravings or not should be taking a good multivitamin to fill in any gaps in their diet. Other helpful supplements include chromium, vitamin B3 and magnesium.
The body picks up toxins everywhere, from the air to the water, and even food. This can cause imbalance in the body that leads to cravings, particularly sugary ones. However, many find that after performing a body cleansing detox, which can be done in any number of ways, that their body resets and they no longer experiences cravings. The method and frequency of detox programs will vary from person to person based on lifestyle and their particular goals.
Cravings can be frustrating, especially to those who are trying to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle. But these tips can help combat cravings, allowing people to lose weight, live healthier and be happier.