Are you trying to lose weight? But food cravings will not allow you reach your goal. Food cravings are normal but you can control it with these simple tricks and techniques. Here are some suggestions given by dieticians and nutritionist.
Know the origin of cravings
Eating that pastry, or that chips or giving in t take that ice cream doesn’t mean you lack willpower or control. It means you’re human. According to nutritionist and blogger Dena Gershkovich, RDN
“When we haven’t eaten for a while, our bodies crave foods that are high in fat and sugar because fat is the most efficient source of energy, and sugar is quickly absorbed by the body,” she explains. People make the mistake of restricting food and avoiding even nutritious between-meal snacks in an attempt to lose weight, but “the best way to avoid cravings is to prevent your hunger from building too much by eating regularly throughout the day.
Don’t restrict or deny, just delay
Cravings are strong, and they only get stronger when you try to fight them. “Telling yourself the food you crave is ‘bad’ actually increases cravings for it,” says Melissa Mitri, RD, a dietician for Wellness Verge. “Instead, allow yourself to eat a little bit of what you really want so in time, it loses its appeal.
Or try the delay technique, she says. “Instead of giving in right away, tell yourself that it’s okay to wait. Often, this helps to reduce the likelihood of spontaneous eating in the moment. Plus, when you know you can have it at a later time, it becomes less urgent.”
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It helps you start your day right and regulate blood sugar levels into the morning hours which also limits cravings throughout the day. Breakfast helps fight cravings even better when it’s high in protein. A study in Obesity by researchers at the University of Missouri found that eating a protein-rich breakfast effectively reduces brain signals that influence reward-driven eating behaviour.
Calm cravings with a cup of tea
Tea helps comfort and calm a hungry stomach while also hydrating the body so it feels full.
Distract yourself when you want to snack
When you are just dying to dive into a pint of chocolate ice cream, sidetrack yourself by doing something physical, even for just a few minutes. “Distract yourself by listening to a podcast or some music, walking the dog, hitting the yoga mat; do anything to take your mind off the food,” says nutritionist Julie Mancuso, registered nutritionist and owner of JM Nutrition, a Toronto-based counselling service by registered dieticians and nutritionists. “Cravings only last a few minutes, so by the time you are finished with your activity, your craving will be a distant memory.”
Avoid distraction while snacking
While distracting yourself may be useful for drawing your attention away from that bag of chips, certain consistent distractions can interrupt signals from your stomach telling your brain that you’ve had enough of what you were craving. A 2019 study in the journal Psychology & Behavior found that using smart phones while eating increased the number of calories participants ate.
Avoid ‘diet’ foods and drinks with artificial sweeteners
Foods made with artificial sweeteners may reduce your calorie intake when you’re eating them, but studies have linked them to consuming more calories throughout the day, says registered dietician Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, with Balance One. Best suggests reducing or eliminating refined and artificial sugar from your diet if you are experiencing issues with overeating or cravings.