Don’t let a sweet tooth or carb craving prevent you from reaching your goals. Keep cravings in check with these practical methods.
No matter how mentally strong you may be, every once in a while, all of us cock a snook to their diet and give in to food cravings. While it is alright to cheat on your diet and allow yourself a small treat now and then, if you realise that it’s happening all too often, you need to take a step back, take stock and learn how to control those food cravings.
SO WHAT YOU CAN DO TO STOP CRAVINGS
Here are tips to help you reduce cravings which are ordered based on how fast you can act on them. So while you may be tempted to reach for the fastest ones, we encourage you to give all of them a try over the next few weeks for the best results.
GETTING YOUR SELF-CONTROL BACK ISN’T SO HARD, AFTER ALL
1.Deal With Your Trigger Foods
Out of sight is usually out of mind
It’s much easier to give in to temptation when the food you crave is within easy reach. So don’t keep unhealthy foods you tend to crave in your kitchen or at your desk at work or wherever you are. This doesn’t mean you can’t keep any treats in the house, but select goodies that are easier for you to manage. Don’t stock up on sugar-filled peanut butter cups instead try our healthy peanut butter dessert treats.
2.Drink Some Water
The easiest thing you can do to curb your cravings is to have a large glass of water and wait for a couple of minutes. Even if the craving doesn’t completely go away, the fullness of your stomach will make it less intense.
Drinking a tall glass of water might serve as a distraction or it might solve your craving without adding any calories. If plain water sounds boring, add a slice or two of lemon, lime or cucumber. Try our Homemade Detox Water
3.Drink Some Coffee
Coffee might have a stronger influence on your appetite and food intake than water. It seems that coffee can suppress acute energy intake. What does that mean?
Right after drinking a cup of coffee people will eat less than they would have without it. So even if you end up giving in to a craving, you have a higher chance of keeping the size of your treat moderate and not going overboard. Another study found that decaffeinated coffee might help suppress the appetite even more!
4. Eat More Protein
Speaking of protein, breakfast isn’t the only meal to focus on. Multiple studies have found that increasing your protein intake to 25 per cent of your daily calories could reduce cravings by 60 per cent, helping you avoid thinking about food throughout the day.
Protein is your ally against crazy cravings, here’s why:
• Increasing protein intake can reduce cravings
• Eating more protein can help fight the desire to eat at night
• Protein keeps you full longer
5. Do A Light Workout
If you already exercise regularly, keep up the good work. And if you don’t, here’s a good reason to make it part of your daily routine.
Before you start rocking 100 burpees, think about this: an intense workout might make you feel even hungrier, but a low-intensity activity, such as a brisk walk or short bodyweight home workout can have the opposite effect. If you’re feeling playful, next time your cravings kick in try walking backwards.
And the best part? The more they exercised, the more their self-control increased—and that benefit lasted the entire time they kept up their workout regimen.
6.Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep is also known to cause food cravings, which is why you need to get adequate sleep each night.
Getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done—there are countless Netflix shows to binge, after all. But when it comes to beating cravings, it’s probably the most effortless tactic.
One study showed being sleep deprived makes you more likely to crave junk food, and catching a proper amount of zzzs will ensure you have a little more self-control.
7.Be More Mindful
Once a craving strikes, it’s hard not to act on it. But by being more mindful of your body and what it needs (not what it wants!), you’ll be able to pass on those urges before they get the best of you.
Common mindfulness-based techniques can significantly lower cravings.
By listening to your body, you’ll learn to accept them when they come and know they’ll naturally fade, but not give in to them. It sounds tricky and takes practice, but it can be done.
8.Don’t Let Yourself Get Too Hungry
What happens when you skip a meal or refrain from eating when you’re truly hungry?
Sooner or later, you get SO hungry that you end up overeating to compensate.
It’s in this state of extreme hunger that we tend to crave quick-fix foods like candy bars. Eating several meals throughout the day may help to control cravings and binge-type eating. Try out our portable healthy snacks.
9.Substitute a healthier option
Satisfy your craving for something smooth and creamy with something low-fat or fat-free, such as yoghurt, pureed fruit or buttermilk. Eat a piece of fruit as a healthy sweet snack.
Craving a scoop of ice cream from the corner shop? Try making your own and sharing the recipe to make it healthier. Or, eat a better-for-you option — like a homemade energy bar or a stack of banana pancake— to satisfying your desire for sweetness.
The main thing is that you learn to tell the difference between actual hunger and cravings for sweet or salty foods. Follow our tips and soon you too will be able to understand your body’s signals.