We’ve all had food cravings before, whether it is for ice cream, tortilla chips, or even pickles. They are just another part of human life that we have to deal with.
Cravings occur when we associate a certain feeling or other stimuli with certain food. For example, when you go to the movies, you might crave hot, buttery popcorn.
It is the overpowering desire to eat something whether you are hungry or not. Oftentimes, it is unhealthy foods that are high in fat that we get the taste for.
Food cravings are one of the many factors leading to a high amount of weight gain and obesity in the United States. These open up more room for other health issues, such as heart disease.
It can be so hard to deny yourself what you truly desire, but what if those bars of chocolate cost you your life? Try a few of these seven strategies to crush those cravings and lead a healthier life.
Don’t give in so easily
Giving in to your cravings is fine every once in a while. It is when you eat what you crave frequently that it becomes an issue.
Decrease the frequency of giving in to your cravings and you will begin to see a difference. Over time, your body will not crave the food as much anymore.
It does not matter much the amount you eat at a time, but rather how often you do it. Cutting back on how often you eat the foods you crave will eventually reduce that feeling of need.
Eat more greens
Green vegetables like spinach contain compounds called thylakoids. This compound interacts with lipids in the body to aid in fat digestion.
Thylakoids work to make you feel satisfied when eating which helps you eat less. Eating more foods containing thylakoids was found to reduce cravings and the overall desire to eat.
Eating more green vegetables is good for other aspects of your health as well, so there are many benefits aside from reducing cravings to eating these protein and fiber-filled foods.
Drink protein coffee to fill you up
Drinking coffee is one way that a lot of people love to start their day, but it does not satisfy hunger very well. That’s where Complete Nutrition’s protein coffee differs. Packed with protein and coffee, it gives a daily boost while also filling you up!
Ultimate Nutrition protein coffee is a guilt-free way to crush cravings throughout the day. Low in calories and high in protein, it is nutritious and satisfying!
I love the caramel frappe flavor. The sweetness makes me feel like I am giving in to my sweet tooth but really my body is thanking me!
Skip those high-calorie breakfast bars and high carb fast food sandwiches and replace them with one powerful shake that boosts your energy and reduces your hunger. By the way, protein coffee is a really fashionable trend. Read more about the health benefits here.
Keep those snacks out
It’s hard to eat something that isn’t available to you. That’s why a good way to prevent cravings is to leave what you crave out of the house entirely!
Instead, fill up your kitchen with foods that your body needs, not what your taste buds crave. Walk straight past that snack aisle and head to the produce section instead.
If you feel the urge to eat a bowl of ice cream, it won’t be in your freezer. Rather, opt for a red apple dipped in peanut butter for a sweet, satisfying snack that you won’t feel bad about eating.
Treating yourself every once in a while is not harmful, but without those snacks around, it will be much easier to say no.
Eat a lot of fiber
Fiber is one of the nutrients our bodies need, and getting enough is great for preventing cravings!
Fiber is useful for helping you feel full throughout the day and reducing the need to snack so frequently. It also helps to stabilize blood sugar.
In addition to ingesting a lot of fiber during a meal, choose water over other sugary beverages. Water is the best drink for your body and it works with fiber to fill you up.
Eat leafy greens and vegetables that are filled with fiber rather than starches like beans and potatoes. Cucumbers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, peppers, and even cauliflower are great fibrous snacks or side dishes during dinner.
Think before you eat
Eating has become another activity for humans to satisfy boredom, especially if we get the taste for something in particular. We mindlessly snack while watching TV or working on assignments that we don’t even realize how much we’ve eaten.
Before you eat, consider if you are truly hungry or just looking for something to do and desiring a certain flavor. Try taking a long walk, reading a book, or picking up an instrument instead of searching for a snack.
If you are truly hungry, you can always eat a banana or apple while you work rather than potato chips that are high in sodium and fat.
It’s best to only eat when you are truly hungry to discipline your body from feeling like it needs to eat all the time.
Speak with a doctor about medications
If none of these craving-crushing strategies work, it may be best to speak with a doctor about prescriptions that could help you.
The part of the brain associated with addiction also appears to control food cravings. The brain can be regulated by certain medications that have the potential to prevent the unnecessary desire to eat when you’re not hungry.
Some anti-obesity medications, which are prescribed by physicians, help regulate the desire to eat to control cravings and help with weight loss. They target the addiction part of the brain to help cut out too much food.
Only if other strategies don’t work this will become an option because of the many other methods that have the potential to help.
Cravings are natural but are not always healthy when we give in to them too often. Staying away from harmful foods and replacing them with protein, green vegetables and fruits is the best way to stay healthy and control those cravings.