How to Avoid a Craving
It’s 10:00 pm. You’re lying in bed and it hits you. All the sudden you’re craving that leftover cherry pie from dinner. Your mouth starts to water and your starting to convince yourself to leave the comfort and warmth of your bed to venture to the kitchen for that delicious pie. If you haven’t figured it out by now you’re experiencing a craving. Cravings can hit you anytime of the day and are often hard to resist.
So what exactly causes a craving? Food cravings are caused by the regions of the brain that are responsible for memory, pleasure, and reward. An imbalance of hormones, such as leptin and serotonin, can also cause food cravings. Emotions may also be involved in producing a food craving, especially if a person eats for comfort.
Cravings can be hard to resist but here are a few tips that might help.
Often when you think your hungry you’re actually thirsty. When cravings hit, drink some water and then wait a few minutes. Your craving will most likely go away.
Instead of reaching for that indulgence, find a way to distract yourself. This can be achieved though exercise, cleaning, reading or going for a walk. Anything to get your mind off treats will help.
Enjoy a healthy alternative
Craving some chocolate? Eat some strawberries instead. Strawberries have natural sugars that will help to curb those sugary desires. Craving a soda? Try flavored water. It might help to satisfy that craving. Try swapping out the bad food for a healthier version.
Eat meals at scheduled times
If you are always eating a meal at or around the same time each day you are less likely to experience a craving. Your body will get used to being fed at certain times and therefore you are less likely to experience hunger.
Get enough sleep
Loss of sleep increases hunger during the day, which leads to cravings. Getting the right amount of shut-eye could stop cravings.
Eat a healthy breakfast
For some people, cravings are part of a cycle of blood sugar highs and lows that can be kicked off almost the moment their feet hit the floor in the morning. A breakfast featuring fiber and protein is more likely to control this cycle.
Make the foods you crave difficult or impossible to get to.
No matter how much you love brownies, if you don’t keep any at home or at work, chances are your craving will pass unsatisfied.
Identify your craving triggers.
Emotional eating is a real phenomenon. If you pay attention, you may find that your cravings are worse when you are stressed or depressed. Managing those situations will help stop cravings.
Eat a varied diet.
Sticking to a strict diet may help you count calories, but it could also leave you feeling unfulfilled. People need variety in their diets, so try new dishes or combinations of foods to stop cravings. Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean it can’t be satisfying.