Every year, many people set fitness goals as one of their new year resolutions. However, the stats show that only a handful follow through and succeed. Of the various reasons why people give up on their weight-related goals, food cravings can be just so hard to get over. This is indeed a huge barrier, considering that good nutrition is required for a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t matter how many calories you burn, it is about the types of foods and calories you are eating each day, and how they impact your body and overall health.
Depriving ourselves is not the right way to find a long-lasting and sustainable healthy eating plan. Here are a few tips to help you satisfy your cravings:
1. Don’t Starve Yourself
While this advice may seem counterintuitive to some, it actually has a lot to do with your body’s physiology. Most food cravings begin when you go beyond 5 hours without eating anything. This triggers a drop in your blood sugar, which causes your body to look for food, and it’s usually your favorite kind. Focus more on eating smaller portions of food in between meals, anything that is below 50 calories should do, like a granola bar, a couple of grapes, or a few slices of peach.
2. Focus on Protein
Meals that have sources of lean protein help a lot at staving off food cravings, since protein has the ability to control your blood sugar patterns. Foods with protein also make you feel fuller than you really are, thanks to the production of cholecystokinin, your body’s natural appetite suppressant. For every major meal, try to consume at least some eggs, skinless chicken or turkey, cheese and fish.
When considering protein sources, you can give Carnivore snax a try. It’s a meat snack that’s from regenerative cattle farming, which supports animal welfare.
3. Find Alternatives
This method is more psychological than the others, and it involves actually giving in to your cravings, to some degree. One of the biggest mistakes dieters make when it comes to their cravings is that they label their favorite foods off-limits. Humans tend to seek what is forbidden, hence making it that much more difficult to fight it. Try not to fight with your cravings and find some alternatives or substitutes for them instead.
There are plenty of options for low-calorie or sugar-free foods, so looking for tastier alternatives shouldn’t be difficult. If you’re the type who craves for cheesecake, for example, you can try having Keto cheesecake instead of a normal one. The thing with this delicious cake is that it actually has less than half the calories a regular cheesecake would normally have. Eating something that has fewer calories means you get to satisfy your cravings while still keeping your calorie intake in check.
4. Stay Hydrated
Not drinking enough water may trigger some people to seek out salty food. There’s not much around this other than actually drinking more water. Drinking water also keeps your mind off of what you’re craving at least for a while and can tide you over until your next meal. Some cravings could just be your body confusing being thirsty with being hungry. Water also has 0 calories, so don’t worry about gaining weight when drinking it.
5. Chew Gum
Chewing gum can also help with food cravings with sweets and snacks. The act of chewing stimulates your body into thinking that it’s actually eating something. This can sometimes be enough to stave off hunger, at least until your next scheduled meal. Much like water, you’re also not consuming calories or very little of it.
6. Distract Yourself
Sometimes cravings are triggered more by psychological stress than actual hunger, like anxiety, depression, or even something as simple as boredom. If you’re a stress eater, the moment you’re starting to feel stressed, find a way to distract yourself. Go window shopping online, watch a movie, read a book, or if you’re the type who gets stressed when staying in one place, go to the park or have a short hike.
7. Brush Your Teeth
It’s actually possible to wash the craving out of your mouth simply by going to the sink and brushing your teeth. Make use of a strong minty toothpaste and then a strong mouthwash immediately after. The strong smell of mint actually has an effect on your body and is a natural appetite suppressant. If nothing else, you might not want to spoil a freshly cleaned mouth.
Being mindful of what you eat doesn’t have to be hard and craving your favorite food doesn’t have to be a bad thing. We’re all human after all. The trick is to simply plan ahead and be disciplined enough to stick to your plan. Food cravings are tricky to deal with, but you can be stronger than that.