Chocolate, donuts, pizza – sometimes we have that urgent need for a specific food, although we aren’t really hungry. If you’ve found out that munching unhealthy snacks just makes you crave for, you’re not alone. Food addiction can be hard and sometimes it seems impossible to be able to stop it. But don’t worry, we show you the best way how to eliminate cravings for good.
First of all, let me explain the difference between cravings and real hunger. It’s a natural calling when you’re truly hungry, you need food to satisfy this hunger and any type of food will do so. Then you won’t have to eat any longer as you are not hungry any more.
In contrast, cravings aren’t instinctive. It’s not essential to eat specific food you are craving for. Cravings and overeating are learned behaviors, shaped over time – especially during childhood. The good news is that your body is like a computer and you can re-learn a natural feeling of satiety.
Don’t let cravings ruin your diet!
Here are the best tips for re-learning how to beat cravings or over-eating:
- Eat real food
Cravings are the body’s way of telling us something is missing. While you might crave for something sweet, your body maybe is lacking the mineral chromium, which can be found in beef, kidney, carrots and broccoli. Switch from processed food to unprocessed, whole food. This food gives you all the nutrients your body needs.
- Cut bad carbs
When talking about food addiction, eating lots of simple carbohydrates can quickly satisfy hunger and give your body a short-term energy boost, but they leave you famished again quite quickly and craving you for more. So, stop eating simple carbs like corn flakes, white rice, white bread or pasta and choose complex carbs like oats, sweet potatoes, brown rice or quinoa.
- Drink water first
It sounds so simple, but it really works. Before you eat something between meals, drink water first – preferably 1-2 glasses. We often ignore our natural need to drink water, opting for food instead.
- Choose healthier snacks
Fight the urge to eat junk food and choose a protein-snack like yogurt, vegetables with hummus or fresh fruit. These options will not only add nutrients to your diet, they’ll keep you filled up for a longer period than a bag of chips or a chocolate bar.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners
Studies have shown that artificial sweeteners like aspartame and saccharine can trigger cravings, may change your gut bacteria and can cause diabetes. Therefore, cut it out!
- Try Sugar Alternatives
Instead of eating high sugary foods or drinking diet soda, reach for Stevia, honey or coconut sugar. Keep in mind to use it sparingly.
- Eat more protein
Protein is great for satiety and it may help to ban cravings as well. So when you crave for sugary food, grab a protein shake, eggs, turkey or a small piece of meat.
- Talk to a friend
Meet or call someone who understands what you’re going through and ask for a few words of encouragement.
- Sleep well
Getting proper, refreshing sleep is important for overall health and can help to prevent cravings.
10.Avoid excessive stress
Just like sleep, avoiding stress can help prevent cravings.
- Grab some gum or brush your teeth
Apart from chewing gum, brushing your teeth can also be a good solution to stop cravings. It tricks the brain into thinking something sweet has been ingested.
- Reach for fruit, nuts or seeds
Keep fruit within reach for when sugar cravings hit. You’ll get fibre and nutrients along with some sweetness. Furthermore stock up on foods like nuts or seeds.
- Go out and find some distance
When sugar cravings hit, take a walk around the block or do something to change the scenery, to take your mind off the food you’re craving.
- Eat regularly
Try to prevent yourself from becoming too hungry between meals. Eating every three to five hours can help to stabilize blood sugar and help to avoid bad eating behaviour. Waiting too long between meals may set you up to choose sugary, fatty foods.
- Make your home craving-free
If the source of a craving is removed, you’re less likely to be aroused by it. This is especially true for those who spend a large part of the day at home, especially in the kitchen.
- Choose mainly vegetables for your meals
Veggies are high in fibre and leave you filled up. Even if your appetite is over-stimulated at a meal, it’ll be hard to overeat if you’re full of nutritious vegetables.
Please note that these tips are just useful, but not essential. The most important thing when talking about cravings should be to restore your body’s natural rhythm. Then you’ll only eat when you’re truly hungry and stop before saturation occurs, because actually this belongs to the human nature.
Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely day ❤