The desire to binge on your favorite foods is irresistible. Losing weight would in fact be much easier if food cravings did not hinder it at all. Healthy eating habits are essential to maintain ideal body weight which makes it important to get rid of food cravings. But it is first important to understand food cravings – here’s a complete guide.
Hunger Vs Food Craving: Just Thin Line Separating Them
You eat more at the hands of food cravings than due to sensation of hunger. Most find it difficult to differentiate between two sensations- Hunger and Cravings.
While food cravings are controlled by mind, hunger is controlled by body. That’s why cravings are harder to resist. Food cravings are often associated with stomach growling, hollow feeling or intense hunger pangs. If you are really hungry the intensity of hunger will keep on increasing, and will be satisfied with any food, not some “specific food”.
The bottom line: If you are craving for a specific food particularly unhealthy, then just ask one question from yourself – “Can I substitute this food with any other? If yes, then you might be genuinely hungry. If not, then you are just craving for that food.
Food Cravings Mostly Point to Nutrient Deficiency
Food cravings have often been associated with deficiency of certain nutrients. But that’s not the case, because more often these cravings are for foods high in calories and fats. Once you guzzle fatty or sugary foods, brain releases Opioids in bloodstream. It is a chemical that induces feeling of pleasure. Even for a brief time the act of satisfying your cravings makes your body somewhat happy.
5 Foods That Limit Food Cravings
- Apples are best to fend off food cravings. Fiber rich fruit like apple leaves you feeling less hungry, as it needs more time for chewing.
- Oatmeal has high fiber content and keeps you fuller for long time.
- Salads consumed in small amount before meals curbs food cravings.
- Ginger is known for its digestive properties since the ancient times, is good for limiting food cravings.
- Delicious green leafy vegetables suppress appetite and keep craving subdued.
Practical Ways To Fight Food Cravings
Indulge Gently By Learning to Rule
If you don’t satiate your cravings, chances are that it might fire up often. So once in a while treat yourself but know when to stop.
Cravings Just Last 10 Minutes
“Cravings typically last ten minutes,” says John Foreyt, PhD, of Baylor College of Medicine. This means you have to hold on for 10 minutes which can be done by plenty of ways.
Be Intelligent, Not Emotional Eater
Stress, depression and loneliness make you eat uncontrollably. As mentioned earlier there’s temporary pleasure associated with fatty and sugary food. And it is pleasure and sense of cozy warmth that you need to beat stress. Learn to control and stay away from unhealthy foods. Get healthy substitutes stocked, exercise and try to be happy.
Whiff is All It Takes to Trigger Food Cravings
Your walking past you favorite bakery and you smell those amazing muffins. Your brain immediately triggers the craving button and you end up buying handful. So if delectable aroma’s trigger your carvings just distract yourself – listen to music, read, watch movie, change you route past bakery etc.
Fill Up With Water
You can misinterpret body’s signal for thirst. Just have a glass of water before getting some snacks.
Make Snacking Healthy
Snacking in between meals is not bad, but it can too be guided more by unhealthy food cravings. This is why you need to make your snacking more healthy and nourishing.