NUTRITION
September 1st, 2021
3 mins read

Having a Food Craving That You Can’t Control? Try These 7 Tips

Stress and hormonal imbalance can result in a food craving

Drink a large glass of water in order to curb your cravings instantly

Exercise and proper sleep help you control unhealthy food cravings

A food craving can be your biggest enemy in your weight loss journey. Food cravings occur due to various mental and physical factors including hormonal imbalances, stress, and lack of sleep or physical activity. When it comes to unhealthy food cravings, people usually desire junk foods high in sugar, fats, and carbohydrates. This is because such foods activate ‘feel-good’ chemicals in your brain, which make you addicted to them.

Indulging in them can further contribute to obesity and cause health problems. Knowing how to stop food cravings and taking steps to curb them can make a big difference in helping you maintain a healthy weight. Read on for some tips to fend off food cravings!

Drink water to curb your cravings 

Your body may often confuse thirst with food cravings by misinterpreting the signals received from your brain. If you get a sudden food craving, try drinking a large glass of water instead. If the craving vanishes, it means you were just thirsty. Moreover, drinking water offers many health benefits and helps overweight people to lose weight [1].

Reduce stress to control food cravings 

Long-term stressors can make you crave sugary or calorie-dense foods. Stress can also increase levels of cortisol, which is a hormone that can contribute to abdominal obesity [2]. Take measures to control your stress and curb your cravings. Meditate, do yoga or breathing exercises, and plan your tasks better to manage stress.

Exercise daily and sleep enough 

Quick exercises such as brisk walks help reduce a food craving [3]. If you get the urge of eating junk foods, take a quick walk or perform simple exercises to stop food cravings. Sleep deprivation is also linked to increased food cravings and obesity [4].  Thus, exercising daily and getting an adequate amount of sleep can help control food cravings by lowering ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite. 

health alternate to food cravings

Replace unhealthy food cravings with a healthy alternative 

Another way to curb your cravings is to satisfy them by eating fruits and fat-free or low-fat foods such as yogurt or buttermilk. A study found that chewing a gum may reduce cravings and appetite [5]. So, you may even chew sugar-free gum to stop food cravings as it is a healthier alternative to sugary or high-calorie foods.  

Plan your diet to quit food cravings 

Planning your meals well in advance can help reduce your cravings. Knowing what you will eat beforehand can make you less tempted to crave unhealthy foods. You can even plan when to eat restricted foods as ignoring your cravings completely may have negatives outcomes.

Additional Read: Weight Loss Meal for Women: How to Create an Eating Plan to Lose Weight

Eat more proteins and avoid hunger 

Eating more protein reduces your appetite and makes you feel full for a long period [6]. This may help you to curb your cravings and prevent you from overeating. Avoid staying hungry for a long time as it is one of the major reasons for you to experience cravings. Eat healthy food at regular times to avoid sudden hunger pangs.

Practice mindful eating to fend off food cravings 

Mindful eating means being attentive while eating, slowing down, and chewing your food properly. Avoid using smartphones, watching television, or any other distractions when having your meals. Mindful eating can be compared to mindfulness meditation when it comes to food. Doing so helps you to be aware of your eating habits, hunger, emotions, and sensations. It helps you to understand and differentiate a food craving from real hunger. A study involving obese people revealed that mindful eating significantly reduced weight, binge eating, perceived stress, and physical symptoms [7].

Additional Read: The Most Effective Diet Tips to Lose Weight during the Monsoons

Incorporate these weight management habits to control food cravings. Remember, eating unhealthy foods including carbonated beverages and large meals can cause stomach bloating [8]. This can further lead to pain, discomfort and make your belly look bigger. Consult a nutritionist or a dietician for a personalized diet plan and incorporate these tips to keep your food craving under control. Book an online doctor consultation with specialists near you on Bajaj Finserv Health to take the best care of your health.

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