How To Beat Food Cravings And Stick To It
Food cravings are not necessarily related to food deprivation (i.e. dieting), but are closely associated with mood. Most importantly, your particular mood (boredom, stress, anxiety, etc.) causes cravings. So, before you succumb to your cravings, try to recognize your current mood.
Make Yourself Happy
It must’ve happened to you today, at least once. It probably happened to you yesterday, or the day before that. That same scenario we all know so well. You’re just minding your own business, going about your day, and then suddenly, out of nowhere. It hits you right in the face: chocolate! Or pizza! Or both!
Yes, you know it. Heck, we all know it. We all know that annoying culprit – food craving. We all know it, but what’s a person to do make it go away. Well, here are some things you should know about cravings, and advice to help you deal with them.
A recent study shows that, contrary to popular belief, food cravings are not necessarily related to food deprivation (i.e. dieting), but are closely associated with mood. Most importantly, your particular mood (boredom, stress, anxiety, etc.) causes cravings. So, before you succumb to your cravings, try to recognize your current mood.
Let’s explain some things first. When you’re under stress, there’s an increased production of hormone cortisol which communicates to your brain to seek reward. This is when the craving starts. Indulging foods, high in sugar and fat, will counteract the effect of the increased levels of cortisol. So, every time you feel stressed and reach for sugary or fatty foods, you form strong connections (stress-sugar) in your brain. In certain sense, this has the same effect as brain conditioning (i.e. Pavlov experiment).
To avoid this, search for some other mood boosters to prevent cravings from occurring. Whether that’s spending time with your friends, exercising your stress away, or simply playing Tetris. Ultimately, choose distractions that work best for you, instead of food.
Define Your Health Goals, Replace Junk Food With Healthier Options
Cravings are a menace. Always lurking in the background, testing our willpower, and waiting until we give in. Well, next time, before you give in and bust out that box of Oreos, think about your health and unwanted weight gain.
There’s no need to explain the importance of healthy lifestyle and well-balanced nutrition. But, how about our body physique? Every time we surrender to our cravings, we are, slowly but surely, putting on weight. Considering that most have an itch for fatty, salty and sugary foods, we experience another discomforting and esthetical unappealing side effect: bloating. This article talks about what bloating is, and what foods cause it.
The best way to go about this is to define personal long-term health goals and seriously commit to them. Remove any junk food from the areas where you reside for any periods of time (home, office, car, etc.). Choose healthy foods with high nutrition value that will nourish your body and mind. Ever tried a mental exercise? Try this: every time you start craving certain foods, stop and visualize yourself healthy, fit and lean. Remember your goals and the commitment you made. Your cravings will be gone in no time.
Wait it out
We have to admit that we act on our cravings the moment they appear. It’s almost as if we fear a monster, growing bigger and stronger by the second, who’ll devour us whole. Well, the good news is that there are no official police reports of fatalities of doughnut cravings.
According to Cynthia Bulik, PhD, author of Runaway Eating, food cravings are like waves: they built, crest, and then disappear. So, try to wait it out. Use that opportunity to face your greatest fear (cravings!). Try to rationalize yourself that moment when your cravings start. First, you’ll realize that it has nothing to do with hunger. It has more to do with your mood or something that you’re currently going through. “What you’re really craving is to feel better”, claims Linda Spangle, a weight loss coach. “Try to acknowledge your emotions, and focus on your health goals”.