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Trying to lose weight but those stubborn cravings keep getting in the way?
We’ve all been there!
It’s a real problem that keeps derailing people from achieving their weight loss goals.
And without learning how to manage it, you may never achieve your desired goal.
But are there ways we can reduce cravings?
Yes, there are!
So, join me on this post, as I help you counter yet another weight loss obstacle – How to reduce food cravings!
Craving food is completely natural and should not be frowned upon.
Here are some other factors you want to look out for, both physiological and psychological that can also cause cravings:
Sometimes, your body may crave certain foods because it’s lacking essential nutrients.
For example, a craving for salty foods could be a sign of sodium deficiency, while a craving for red meat might indicate a need for more iron.
Hormonal fluctuations, especially in women during their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause, can trigger lots of cravings.
An example is many women experience cravings for chocolate during their menstrual periods due to hormonal changes.
Stress, anxiety, boredom, and other emotions can lead to cravings.
Many people turn to comfort foods to alleviate stress or anxiety, and the act of eating can be soothing.
Your body can become conditioned to expect certain foods at specific times.
For instance, if you always have popcorn while watching movies, your body might start to crave popcorn whenever you watch a film.
You might crave a particular food when you see or smell it, such as the aroma of freshly baked bread in a bakery.
Additionally, social situations and peer influence can trigger cravings.
It’s late at night, you just took a nice hot shower and you’re feeling relaxed, then suddenly you start craving something before bed.
The calories in the snack you indulge in before bed can stack up and affect your weight loss efforts.
Food cravings can be stronger at night because we’re in a relaxed state, which is usually associated with eating.
Also, after an exhausting workday, we sometimes feel the need to reward ourselves with our favorite foods.
These tips aren’t magic pills that’ll stop cravings as some people claim, but they’re the best tactics you can apply during a weight loss phase when it gets difficult.
Just know one thing – You must want the results bad enough to restrain most cravings.
Ready yeah? Let’s get into it!
When it gets tough, when that craving hits to rip open a bag of potato chips or bars of chocolate, remind yourself why you started your goal, why you must achieve it, and how much happier you would be later knowing that a tough craving came, and you beat it.
It’s a really satisfying feeling, trust me.
I think of it this way when I’m on a diet- “Do the hard thing now, so you can enjoy the benefits later when you’re looking at your ripped physique”.
Choose delayed gratification, it’ll never fail you.
Sometimes you get hunger signals out of nowhere or you start craving certain foods, if you ate not long ago, then this may not be actual hunger and you’re probably just dehydrated.
Next time you get a craving, try taking a big glass of water and wait first. It won’t stop the feeling completely, but it’ll ease it.
Eating foods high in protein is very beneficial when you’re trying to lose weight.
Protein foods take longer to digest, which means that food remains in your system, leaving you feeling full and satiated for a lot longer.
A good snack option when you get cravings could be eating two hard-boiled eggs, or beef jerky.
Similar to protein, foods that are high in fiber also take lots of time to digest. Fiber is a type of carb that our body doesn’t digest, thus, they don’t add to body fat.
When setting up your meal plan, add foods high in fiber such as oats and nuts, and when you get a craving, grab an apple! It’s not overrated.
You may not know but there are a lot of crave-inducing foods and visuals around us, and even a slight cue can cause cravings.
Listen closely- When those foods you crave aren’t easily accessible, you’re less likely to indulge in them, when you don’t pass by restaurants filled with unhealthy goodness, you think about those foods a lot less.
Here’s what I’m suggesting you do:
Try to get enough sleep and prioritize good sleep patterns, as lack of sleep can disrupt hunger hormones and lead to cravings.
Also, the longer you stay awake, the more time you have in the day to eat.
I find that I don’t get cravings when I’m engaged in an activity that requires my focus, and I’m sure it’ll be the same for you too.
So, try to fill your day with activities to keep you engaged while keeping those cravings at bay!
Mindful eating is a technique that’s becoming recognized for its benefits in a healthy lifestyle. It means being present in every aspect, from shopping for ingredients, to cooking, and eating.
Mindful eating can help you recognize true hunger and fullness cues.
It can also help you realize how junk foods negatively affect you, which may reduce your appetite for them.
When you get hungry, reach for a healthy snack! You can still get satiated from them while staying guilt-free on fewer calories.
Choose healthier options like fruits, veggies, or nuts to satisfy your cravings.
Is it just me who goes out hungry and buys foods I know I don’t need while knowing the reason I got them was just because I was hungry?
You too, right?
Eat a balanced and filling meal before going out to defend yourself from those delicious fiends.
It’s pretty discouraging if you think you have to completely cut out certain foods to lose weight or to build healthy eating habits.
It leads to increased strong cravings and just makes the process – for a lack of better word, ‘Sucky’.
But guess what?
You don’t have to cut them off! You can still add them to your diet as long as you portion.
But here lies another question for yourself; Do you have the discipline to take a little?
With a strong will for your goal, you can!
Meal planning is crazy good for those going on a diet or just trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle. When you already have your foods laid out for the day, it gets a lot easier to focus on them.
So, try planning and prepping your meals and snacks in advance to help reduce binge eating.
When in doubt, try coffee to knock those cravings out!
See what I did there?
In moderation, coffee can help reduce cravings, as caffeine can temporarily suppress ghrelin levels, leading to a reduced appetite.
Using a few of these tips can help you reduce and even stop food cravings. We’ve examined the various causes of food cravings, including nutrient deficiencies, emotional triggers, and environmental cues.
Being aware of your craving triggers is a great first step.
To help you take control of these cravings, we’ve provided a set of tips for stopping food cravings.
Reminding yourself of your goals, drinking water, and consuming more protein-rich foods can stave off sudden hunger signals.