Don’t allow your food cravings to be your master. You can reduce your food cravings in many ways. Whether you selectively crave foods like chocolate, potato chips, burgers, pizza or coffee, or whether you’re less selective, craving anything you can find to stuff into your mouth, can be soul destroying. Here are a few suggestions:
Stress can make you indulge in emotional eating – most likely not steamed broccoli and beetroot, but sweet delights like chocolate or salted snacks like crisps. This can cause all sorts of health problems, not to mention weight gain.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. This does in fact reduce cravings, because the water will trick the body into thinking it’s full. Water does double duty, since it rids your body of toxins at the same time.
Not getting enough sleep can throw your hormones out of kilter. This can lead to food cravings, overeating and piling on the kilograms.
Protein should form about a quarter of your diet in any case. One study among overweight men has found that cravings were cut down by almost 60 percent with a protein intake of 25 percent. And it reduced the craving for a bedtime snack by 50 percent.
Instead of imposing an outright ban on snacking, keep a stash of your favourites. But keep them out of sight in a special cupboard away from your work or living space.
We are all creatures of habit and habits are hard to break. But long-term eating habits can be changed by making changes to your routine. You may change when and how you take your meals and where you shop. Instead of giving in to a craving, have a shower, go for a walk, or phone a friend.
It won’t do to allow yourself to get hungry. Hunger pangs will only encourage food cravings. Worse yet, this often leads to poor food choices such as digging into fast and processed foods. Make sure you eat healthy foods regularly during the day.
Instead of potato chips, eat a healthier salty snack such as cashews and walnuts. Don’t overdo this, because nuts are high in calories and eating too much can also lead to weight gain.
Instead of chocolate, eat almonds. They’re rich in magnesium and may very well satisfy the urge. Otherwise opt for dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. Other sweet tooth cravings may be satisfied by eating fresh or dried fruit, while you can squeeze fresh orange or lemon into a glass of soda water.
By Linda Cilliers: Eight ways to help reduce your food cravings