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Deal with your Cravings

Dealing with your cravings can be very frustrating! Who hasn’t had food cravings?  We’ve been asked by many people, “What can I take to make my food cravings stop.” Food cravings are extreme desires that may be uncontrollable for specific foods and are stronger than normal hunger.   These foods tend to be processed junk food that is high in sugar. Distancing yourself from the foods you are craving seems simple but for many people it’s one of those challenges that sabotage your end weight goal.  A lot of people experience sugar cravings which is one of the main reasons it can be hard to stick with a healthy diet.   Cravings are driven by the brain’s need for a reward, not necessarily your body’s need for food.  Your body is calling for something that releases a lot of dopamine in the reward system.

Drink lots of water

You have probably heard this over and over but drinking water can help.  For many people, thirst is confused with hunger or food cravings.   For people that are middle-aged and older drinking water prior to eating a meal will reduce your appetite.   Eating more protein is known to reduce your appetite and helps to control the amount of food you are eating.  Studies have shown that eating a high-protein breakfast reduces cravings and having an overall increase in protein intake can reduce cravings by 60% and decrease night snacking by 50%.

Step away from the moment and the temptation.  Deal with your cravings by going for a walk outside and see several benefits.  It will remove you from the item and it will also release endorphins which are feel-good chemicals in your brain and can help turn the craving off.  You can also take a hot, bath or shower, this causes a dazed feeling which will make you feel relaxed and your cravings will most likely be gone when you are done.

Plan ahead

Simply planning your meals for the day or the week can eliminate spontaneous choices.  Being prepared for the day allows you to free up your thoughts about the next meal or relying on that quick easy go-to that is probably high in sugar, fats, and high carbohydrate.   Eating regularly throughout the day prevents the feeling of extreme hunger.  Often as adults, we skip meals because of our busy schedules.  The result is being extremely hungry when you sit down to eat, causing overeating. In weight loss, we can’t tell you how many times we hear, “I’m not a breakfast person or I’m not hungry in the morning until later in the day”.

However, what we find is the result that they are hungry or can’t stop themselves from eating from the time they get home.  The way to combat this issue is truly to spread out your meals throughout the day and ensure you are feeding your body with small frequent meals.  Remember hunger is a reason for cravings and if you experience extreme hunger keep a healthy snack ready.

Try and reduce stress

Stress can cause food cravings and influence the way you eat.  To deal with your cravings, research shows that when you are under stress you eat significantly more calories and will experience cravings.  Stress also raises your cortisol which can make you gain weight, especially in the belly area.  Depending on your age and health condition there are supplements that can help decrease your cortisol-caused DHEA.  Getting enough sleep can help lower your stress also.  However, sleep is also important in your appetite.  Sleep deprivation will alter your body’s hormones that help prevent hunger.  Research has shown that sleep-deprived people increase the likelihood of being obese by 55%.

Approximately 50% of people experience cravings on a regular basis. This plays a major role in food addiction, binge eating, and weight gain.   Being aware of your food triggers will help you avoid the issue and help you on your weight loss journey.