It could really be tempting to munch on a bag of potato chips while watching your favorite movie. You may also find it really comforting to obsess on sweets and sugary desserts during stressful days. However, in the back of your mind, you know your food cravings aren’t worth it and your willpower is really failing.
The right food choices can be the start of a healthy lifestyle. One that is far from dreaded diseases and obesity. But what if you just can’t say no to your food cravings?
Healthy eating could really be a challenge–but you can have power over your food cravings!
If you want to know how to stop cravings or suppress your appetite for unhealthy foods, here’s an article that should help you stay in control the next time your healthy lifestyle is threatened!
5 Major Causes of Food Cravings
1. There may be too much fat in your body…
Having more fat in your body results in an increase in the production of Leptin. Constant surges of this hormone can lead to Leptin resistance which makes it difficult for you to understand your appetite or feeling of hunger.
2. Your serotonin levels could be low…
This hormone is mainly produced in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It has an effect on your mood, appetite and digestion. A reduction on serotonin levels can trigger the brain to think of fixes — including sugary foods.
3. There could be a surge in your endorphin levels…
Whenever you eat sugary foods, the endorphins in your body increase resulting in a relaxed state. This can lead to a sense of wanting for that feeling more. As a result, the body also tends to have an increased craving for sweetened snacks.
4. There might be an imbalance between good and bad bacteria…
There should be a proper balance of bacteria in the body to ensure a healthy gut. When bad bacteria outnumber good bacteria, there is a tendency for food cravings to also increase.
5. You are experiencing emotional triggers…
Have you been experiencing stress, sadness, or boredom lately? When negative feelings occur, there is a tendency to seek comfort foods to boost mood and experience a positive feeling.
How to Stop Cravings and Stay in Control!
Drinking 8 glasses of water is basic. It is essential to your existence and can keep your skin supple and hydrated. However, 8 glasses aren’t always enough to complement your body requirements. It is advised to drink according to your body weight. Ideally, the ounces of water you consume should be about half your body weight:
½ body weight in pounds = ounces of water you need per day
TIP: At times when you suddenly feel hungry although it’s just a few hours since you have eaten, drink water. Thirst and dehydration are two factors that also trigger food cravings. Want a better option? Store your water in insulated water bottles that are both eco-friendly and nice to bring!
Don’t Lose Sleep
Lack of sleep affects health and can cause under eye bags, too. But not only that, but it can also affect your hormones. Ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates hunger, is activated resulting in an increase in appetite. If you’re on a strict diet and wants to avoid snacking on unhealthy foods, you have to make sure that you’ll get the right amount of sleep.
A brisk walk in the morning or a regular workout routine will not just keep you in shape. It can also help suppress your food cravings. These habits affect the levels of endorphins and serotonin (aka ‘happy hormones’) in the body. This plays a factor among active people who can easily say ‘No’ to their cravings for sugary foods and processed carbs.
TIP: If you’re not the active type who can commit to regular exercise, you can take the easier route. Meditate at least a few minutes a day and get some sunshine. These are practices that give your serotonin levels a boost.
Follow a Structured Diet
Set a specific time for meals each day. Following a structured diet will train your mind and body to know when it is time to eat and when not to. This will help curb your cravings. For people who cannot stick to a structured diet, keep healthy snacks on hand to stay away from junk foods. Not only will this keep unwanted weight off, but it can also contribute to maintaining healthy and glowing skin!
Increase Your Protein Intake
Protein can help control hunger and stop your cravings. By increasing your protein intake, you will experience satiety longer. A research journal revealed that an increase of protein in the diet of overweight men resulted in a significant decrease in food cravings.
Did You Know? A high protein diet should have at least 35 grams of protein from certain sources.
Don’t Miss Breakfast
Have you heard of the saying: “Eat Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like a Prince, and Dinner Like a Pauper”? It proves to be true especially when you’re trying to curb your cravings. Skipping breakfast can result in greater cravings for sweet and tasty foods. On the other hand, starting your day with a healthy breakfast can reduce and even stop cravings.
Use the 21/90 Rule
Do not underestimate the memory of your taste buds. One way to break your food cravings is to totally avoid unhealthy foods for a specific period of time. Go for healthier options continuously for 3 weeks and over time your taste buds will change, too!
Good-to-Know: The 21/90 rule states that it takes 21 days to create a habit and 90 days to create a lifestyle.
Keep a Sugar-Free Gum within Reach
There are days when you just need something to chew on. And during these times, a piece of gum would be your saviour! A study concluded that chewing gum can help control food cravings and even reduce your appetite. Go for a healthier option by choosing a sugar-free gum!
You are probably aware that stress doesn’t help in keeping your wrinkles at bay. But did you know that experience of stress, especially for a long period of time, can also stimulate food cravings? This means that when you work on eliminating feelings of stress, you’re not just bringing your youthful look back. You are also actually finding solutions on how to stop cravings!
TIP: There are several ways to free your mind and be relieved from stress. Try breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, among others.
Set a Time for Cheat Days
Sounds too good to be true? It actually works. Depriving yourself totally may be hard to do. After all, scheduling a day to indulge gives you something to look forward to and comes with benefits, too. Cheat days may seem unacceptable but they can actually help in weight loss!
Good-to-Know: During cheat days, there is an increase in the production of leptin which enhances your metabolism. That means, on those days, you are actually helping your body to burn more calories!
It could really be a challenge to curb your appetite to keep unwanted weight off and live a healthy lifestyle. However, with the options you have to stay from unhealthy food choices and control your intake, learning how to stop cravings truly isn’t an impossible feat!
Know how to stop your cravings. Follow the above-mentioned tips and you’ll find reasons to thank us later!
Share this with a pal who can use some ideas on maintaining healthy eating habits. For more related tips and information, regularly check out our lifestyle magazine.