If there was a magic pill to stop cheating (with food, of course), I would be a billionaire. There are no quick fixes, elixirs or magic potions. Stopping anything require will power. However, there are a few tricks to employ to help you fight off cravings. Below, please find my top 15 tips to stop cheating with food.
1. Stay Hydrated
Thirst has a big secret. Sometimes, when you’re dehydrating and thirsty. Your mind may believe that you’re hungry. So, when you feel the urge to snack or overeat, down a glass of H20. Now, if after 15 – 20 mins, you’re still hungry, then you are probably hungry. Good thing, whether you’re actually hungry or not, that glass of water will help you from overeating when you do eat.
Staying hydrated is key to you weight loss journey. If you don’t like water, try infusing you water with delicious fruit, mint leaves, cucumbers, ginger, lemon or with a non-calorie flavor enhancer.
2. Eat More Protein
Another way to stop cheating with food is by filling up on protein which may reduce cravings and keep you full longer. Protein reduces overeating and reduces you overall appetite.
3. Fight Stress
Unchecked stress is a big contributor to many common conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. A National Institutes of Health databases shows that women under stress are prone to experiencing more calories and cravings. In addition, stress raises cortisol, a hormone that encourages gain weight, especially in the belly region.
So, minimizing stress is very important to reducing cravings and appetite spikes.
4. Distance Yourself from Craving
When cravings take hold, try distancing yourself physically and/or mentally from them. When you fill burdened by cravings, go for a walk, clean up, play a game, play with you kids, or something else.
5. Brush Your Teeth
Try this little trick when cravings are baring down on you. Simply, brush you teeth. For some, this tip tricks you mind into believing that you’ve finished eating. For others, the spearmint or sweet mint flavor will make it hard to eat. And, it makes foods taste less appetizing.
6. Drink Coffee
If drinking water does not starve off you hunger pains, try drinking a cup of Joe. Drinking a cup of coffee can suppress cravings and help you to eat less. Which means that if you cave into you cravings, it’s a good chance you won’t overeat. Although more research is needed, one study found that decaffeinated coffee decreases appetites more.
7. Don’t Skip Meals
Avoid getting extremely hungry by not skipping meals. It becomes harder to resist cravings when you are extremely hungry. So, eat regularly, plan ahead when you’re out and about and try to keep healthy food alternatives nearby.
Light workouts or low physical activities is a good way to reduce cravings. Its well-known that high impact workouts increases hunger. Low activities like a short walk, light yoga or home workout or other light activities helps you to eat less than otherwise.
The importance of sleep can never be understated. Sleep deprivation leads to many health conditions. It also leads to large appetite fluctuations throughout the day. Lack of sleep often leads to poor regulation, hormones, digestion, appetite and strong cravings. The National Institutes of Health reports that approximately 55% of sleep-deprived people are more likely to become over weight.
10. Practice Mindful Eating
Being present or in-the-moment when eating is crucial to void mindful eating. Generally speaking in relation to food and eating, mindfulness is about practicing awareness without judgment. Mindful eating is a type of meditation that teaches you to develop awareness of you emotions, hunger, eating habits and physical sensations. Learning how to slow down and chew food thoroughly. You’re encouraged to distinguish between hunger pains and cravings. You learn how to respond thoughtfully and without impulsiveness.
11. Plan Your Meals
Planning meals in advance removes the urge to eat or snack indiscriminately. It eliminates the concern of uncertainty because you will know when and what you’re going to eat. When you remove the spontaneity, you tend to be less tempted and experience less cravings.
Taking you mind off of you cravings is similar to distancing yourself from it too. The key is distraction you attention from you cravings. Playing a game on you phone, computer, or tablet for a few minutes can weaken many types of cravings including foods.
13. Chew Some Gum
A fast trick to curve cravings is to chew gum. The act of chewing tricks you mind into believing that it’s full when hunger isn’t real culprit.
14. Pantry Makeover
Eliminate temptations from you home. Remove all foods and snacks that may tempt you. According to Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD, CDN, removing you food temptations from you home will force to decide if it’s important enough to leave out to get it. Basically, if you want it, you got to work for it. Sometimes, knowing that you have to leave the house to satisfy you cravings will help you to realize that you really don’t want it that badly.
15. Just Give In
Sometimes, the best tip is to just give into you cravings. If you’ve exhausted all other options and you still want that potato chip or piece of cake. Simply, allow yourself to a little of what you’re craving. Try not to over do it. And remember, you always have tomorrow. Don’t beat yourself up or over judge yourself.
Before you Leave
No matter what you personal journey is with food, cravings will always be an obstacle in you life. How you stop cheating with food is by excepting the fact that cravings are a normal part of your journey. That understanding will help you to better manage your response to them. Cravings do not have to control you. No matter if you find success with an above tip or if you found another solution, learning to not beat yourself up about them or caving into them is extremely important to you long-term dieting success. As you gain greater control over you will power, cravings will become less and less a thorn in you progress.