Food cravings are like a scourge for every individual who aspires to stay healthy. Whenever throughout the day you fall below the daily caloric intake of your body, your brain will demand food consumption. This state is characterized by intense desires to eat, and although food cravings are quite common these days, with the heavily marketed food products causing havoc and stimulating further demands, there are some ways to avoid them. Here are some simple steps to control overeating.
Keep one motto going on in your mind “all things in moderation”. This will help you in keeping your old habits away and you will have a healthy life.
- Once you get up in the morning, the first thing you must do is drink a glass of water. You must drink water every time you start craving for a snack and after the meals as well. This will temporarily fill your stomach and will leave very little room for the food; it will rehydrate your body as well. Many people tend to mistake being thirst for hunger. Before you reach for any sugary snack, rehydrate your body first.
- Excercise. This will not only help in increased blood flow in your body, but also give you sufficient energy for keeping up with the challenges of the day. The time spent working out is better than sitting on the sofa and binging on chips and cola. If you have an active lifestyle it will cause your metabolism to burn more calories, and your appetite will automatically take a back seat for your activity.
- Avoid cola drinks, because it gives you 100 calories per 8-oz. a glass. Soda could be your biggest enemy when it comes to weight loss. If you need to control overeating, you need to cut down on luxury like these. Even though the new diet colas in the market boost about 0 calories, the aspartame sweeteners in these colas stimulate your appetite. Your brain automatically gets fooled by expecting to produce more energy producing calories, when there is actually no need. This will create a metabolic need for more sugar in your body. Even before you understand all this, you will notice yourself eating fattening snacks and “low-cal” cola drinks.
- Maintain a food journal. You should be committed to this journal and write down everything that crosses your lips and then you will become less likely to overeat. Carry your journal with you and write down everything that goes inside your mouth from drinks to sweets. Mention the calorie count of the food item as well and write how you feel after eating so many calories. After every week review your dairy and notice some patterns in your regular snacking. Understand when you tend to eat, when you are tired, sad, in love or when you are angry. You will have to understand what makes your appetite shoot up. Once you know then you can come up with a plan for controlling your binging habits.
- Look for some kind of discipline, like yoga, meditation, pilates, aerobics or dance. You can choose anything, which demands self-control and stability, and make sure that you stick to the routine for six months at least. Always remember that this may not be enjoyable and you might need to force it out, but the overall confidence and satisfaction you get will be great. If you are in control of your daily habits, then it will carry you to another level of daily and healthy life.
Given below are some tips that will help you control your food cravings:
Clever ways to avoid the triggers
You will crave for what you eat, so if you suddenly change what you eat, then you tend to weaken your old cravings and build new ones. Therefore, you must try eliminating old fattening cravings and substitute with new healthy ones. The initial days will be difficult, and you will not be able to eliminate the cravings. However, the longer you are able to avoid your trigger foods, the less you will want them. In fact, soon you will start craving for the healthy foods that you have started eating. This is basic human psychology. For instance, if you are eating a lot of fruits, then you will soon start craving for fruits, which is quite healthy.
Destroy the temptation
If you have recently succumbed to a craving and got yourself a box of cookies, or something else, which is trigger food and are feeling bad for eating it, then destroy it. Don’t just throw it in the garbage, but put water over it and ruin it completely. Once you do this, you will get a sense of accomplishment, that you have thrown away your binge. Forget the money for a while that you have put in to buy the trigger food. Just remember one thing that if those cookies don’t go inside the garbage they will be attacking your hips. If you can’t actually go about doing this, then try restricting yourself to eating a small portion of the food item that you crave for, and discard the rest. This will eventually help you understand that you can actually live without them.
The best way to avoid temptation or curb your hunger in a healthy way is, drink two glasses of water and eat 20 peanuts, 12 almonds and 6 walnuts. You will notice that within 20 minutes, this will completely calm your craving and dampen the appetite, by completely changing the chemistry of your body.
Jolt yourself with java
Instead of eating a candy bar, you must have a cup of skim latte. The caffeine this drink has will not satisfy your cravings, but it will certainly save you from the calories by filling your appetite. The warm richness of the latte will completely distract your mind.
Let it go
Always remember that stress is the biggest trigger of cravings. If you learn how to deal with stress, you can certainly save yourself from a lot of calories. However, controlling your stress will require some practice. Try deep breathing or visualize a calm and serene atmosphere or you can listen to a CD on muscle relaxation. And remember, stress is self-induced, it is delusion if you think stress is induced by someone else. The environment does contribute to the pressure, but you are to decide whether to overcome the negativity, or to fall prey to it.
Indulge yourself but in limits
Once in a month it is ok to have one ice cream. However, you must buy a small cone and not a pint. Try having soy ice creams, which will stop your cravings and you will not gain any calories. Once you have eaten the ice cream, go for a brisk walk for 15 minutes and burn the calories that you have just consumed.
More tips to control overeating:
- Cravings will increase when you are tired, you need to focus on the fatigue. Close the door, close your eyes and take a quick nap
- Gargle and brush your teeth everyday. If you have a fresh and clean mouth, you will not want to mess it up by eating trigger foods
- If you want to have only ice cream, then it is craving and not hunger. Always remember that cravings will last for only ten minutes. You will have to recognize your craving and distract yourself. You can listen to music, watch TV, run an errand, or call a friend and start talking random crap, just to get yourself distracted. I’m sure they won’t mind.