How to Deal With Cravings?

All of us have that go to food or drink that we reach for whenever we're hungry, or stressed or sad. It's perfectly normal to have cravings for certain foods. The problem lies in when we can't control these cravings or when these cravings lead to unwanted weight gain. So, in today's article, I'll be giving you guys some easy tips to effectively deal with your cravings.

A simple tip is that if you're craving something, drink a large glass of water and after a couple of minutes see if you're still hungry or was the feeling you were experiencing a couple of minutes ago due to thirst rather than hunger because that is often the case. People often mistake thirst for hunger which causes them to snack unnecessarily. So, hydration is key my friends.

Protein, protein, protein! Protein is extremely satiating so you stay fuller for longer. So, make sure to have meals that are high in protein and also if you're craving something, try to eat something that is high in protein such as a greek yogurt with granola or some string cheese. Higher protein meals and snacks means less hunger which means less cravings.

This third tip is about planning. Planning for an event leads to a higher chance of success when that event happens. So, if you deal with cravings. Try making a list of what meals you are going to eat that day and prep them in advance. So, when you're hungry, you have food ready to go. Also, make sure to have some healthy snacks with you if you're at work or somewhere where you can't eat a meal. This can be a bag of nuts, a cup of greek yogurt, a protein bar etc. Just something to hold you over, so you don't end up binge eating when you go home. Lastly, never go to the grocery store hungry or without a list. Going in hungry is a recipe for disaster as every aisle you pass through will have temptation. Just bring in a list and come into the store on a full stomach. This will lead to a quicker grocery trip and a cheaper one.

Stress is a craving booster. High levels of stress have been shown to increase binge eating and as a result cause weight gain. So, try and make your life less stressful by doing things like planning ahead, talking a walk, practicing deep breathing or just anything that makes you happy. If you are in a clear mental state, it will be easier to maintain or improve your physical state. Also, make sure you're getting an adequate amount of sleep as sleep helps keep your hormones in check including ones that deal with appetite regulation.

Lastly, this tip is the most straightforward, but at the same time requires the most willpower and it is....... eat the food you're craving. I will never tell a person than a food is off limits. Foods should not be vilified as this causes even stronger urges to eat that food. However, this is not a free pass to eating as much of the food you're craving as you want. Most people crave calorie dense foods such as candy or chips. In order to smartly address these cravings, you need to be able to eat a portion/ serving of your food craving and be able to move along. So, what I do is if I want chips, I weigh out one serving of those chips and put the bag away. This allows me to not suppress myself and at the same time not go overboard and derail my daily diet. While doing this, try to eat your food slowly so you can savor each bite and enjoy it for longer.

In conclusion, cravings are things everyone deals with. Some people have more control than others, but nonetheless we all face them at different levels. By implementing these tips and methods into your lifestyle, you will be better equipped at dealing with cravings and help you have a better relationship with food in general.

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