How to Beat Sugar and Junk Food Cravings in 11 Steps
Dieters' worst enemy is food cravings.
These are intense or uncontrollable cravings for specific foods that are more intense than normal hunger.
People's food preferences vary greatly, but they are frequently processed junk foods high in sugar.
Cravings are one of the most common reasons why people struggle to lose weight and keep it off.
Here are 11 easy ways to avoid or reduce unhealthy food and sugar cravings.
Thirst is frequently mixed up with hunger or food cravings.
If you have an unexpected craving for a particular food, try drinking a large glass of water and waiting a few minutes. You may notice that the craving subsides because your body was simply thirsty.
Furthermore, drinking plenty of water may have numerous health advantages. Drinking water before meals can reduce appetite and aid in weight loss in middle-aged and elderly people (1, 2, 3).Summary
Drinking water before meals may help with weight loss by reducing cravings and appetite.
Eating more protein may help you control your appetite and avoid overeating.
It also helps you feel full and satisfied for longer periods of time (4).
One study of overweight adolescent girls found that eating a high-protein breakfast significantly reduced cravings (5).
In another study of overweight men, increasing protein intake to 25% of calories reduced cravings by 60%. Furthermore, the desire to snack at night was reduced by half (6).Summary
Increasing protein consumption can reduce cravings by up to 60% and reduce the desire to snack at night by 50%.
When you have a craving, try to separate yourself from it.
You could, for example, go for a brisk walk or take a shower to distract yourself. A shift in mindset and environment may aid in the cessation of cravings.
Chewing gum has also been shown in some studies to help reduce appetite and cravings (7, 8).Summary
By chewing gum, going for a walk, or taking a shower, you can try to distract yourself from the craving.
Try to plan your meals for the day or the coming week if at all possible.
You eliminate the element of spontaneity and uncertainty by knowing what you're going to eat ahead of time.
You will be less tempted and less likely to experience cravings if you do not have to think about what to eat at the next meal.Summary
Planning your meals for the day or the week ahead eliminates spontaneity and uncertainty, both of which can lead to cravings.
One of the most common reasons for cravings is hunger.
To avoid feeling ravenous, it's a good idea to eat regularly and keep healthy snacks on hand.
You may be able to avoid the craving entirely if you are prepared and avoid long periods of hunger.Summary
Cravings are often triggered by hunger. Avoid extreme hunger by always having a healthy snack on hand.
Stress can cause food cravings and influence eating habits, particularly in women (9, 10, 11).
Women who are stressed eat significantly more calories and have more cravings than non-stressed women (12).
Furthermore, stress raises cortisol levels in the blood, a hormone that can cause weight gain, particularly in the abdomen (13, 14).
Reduce stress in your environment by planning ahead of time, meditating, and generally slowing down.Summary
Stress can cause cravings, overeating, and weight gain, especially in women.
Spinach extract, derived from spinach leaves, is a "new" supplement on the market.
It helps to delay fat digestion, which raises levels of appetite-reducing hormones like GLP-1.
According to research, taking three With a meal, 7-5 grams of spinach extract may reduce appetite and cravings for several hours (15, 16, 17, 18).
In one study of overweight women, 5 grams of spinach extract daily reduced cravings for chocolate and high-sugar foods by 87-95% (18).Summary
Spinach extract slows fat digestion and raises hormone levels, which can reduce appetite and cravings.
Hormones that fluctuate throughout the day have a large impact on your appetite.
Sleep deprivation disrupts the fluctuations and may result in poor appetite regulation and strong cravings (19, 20).
Sleep-deprived people are up to 55% more likely to become obese than people who get enough sleep, according to studies (21).
As a result, getting enough sleep may be one of the most effective ways to prevent cravings from appearing.Summary
Sleep deprivation can cause cravings and poor appetite control by disrupting normal fluctuations in appetite hormones.
Cravings can be triggered by hunger or a lack of essential nutrients.
As a result, it is critical to eat proper meals at mealtimes. This way, your body gets the nutrients it requires and you won't feel ravenous right after eating.
If you find yourself in need of a snack in between meals, make it a healthy one. Choose whole foods like fruits, nuts, vegetables, or seeds.Summary
Eating properly prevents hunger and cravings while also ensuring that your body receives the nutrients it requires.
When you're hungry or have cravings, grocery stores are probably the worst places to be.
For starters, they provide easy access to virtually any food you can think of. Second, supermarkets typically display the most unhealthy foods at eye level.
The best way to avoid cravings at the grocery store is to shop only after you've eaten. Never, ever go to the grocery store hungry.Summary
Eating before going to the supermarket reduces the likelihood of unwanted cravings and impulsive purchases.
Mindful eating is a type of meditation that involves practicing mindfulness in relation to foods and eating.
It teaches you how to become more conscious of your eating habits, emotions, hunger, cravings, and physical sensations (22, 23).
Mindful eating teaches you to distinguish between physical hunger and cravings. It allows you to choose your response rather than reacting rashly or impulsively (24)
Eating mindfully entails paying attention while eating, slowing down, and chewing thoroughly. It is also critical to avoid distractions such as the television or your smartphone.
In one 6-week study of binge eaters, mindful eating reduced binge eating episodes from 4 to 1. 5 per week It also reduced the severity of each binge (25)Summary
Mindful eating is about learning to distinguish between cravings and actual hunger, allowing you to choose your response.
Cravings are extremely common. In fact, more than half of all people (26) experience cravings on a regular basis.
They contribute significantly to weight gain, food addiction, and binge eating (27)
Knowing your cravings and their triggers makes it much easier to avoid them. It also makes eating healthy and losing weight much easier.
Following the suggestions on this list, such as eating more protein, planning your meals, and practicing mindfulness, may enable you to regain control the next time cravings try to take over.
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