Cravings are caused by a sudden dip in glucose level combined with stress. No one is really immune to craving. But although craving is hard to ignore, there are many ways to nip it right in the bud. In today’s post, we are sharing tips and tricks to outsmart a craving and stop overeating:
1. Stop Depriving Yourself
This does not mean you have to give in to your cravings. Instead of willing yourself to not eat, eat enough food to keep yourself from feeling deprived. One of the reasons why people overeat is they’ve been holding back all day. And once you finally cave in, the brain regard the action as a reward for holding it back for so long.
To keep your caloric consumption in check, we recommend eating a high fiber, low-calorie meal. Make the meal as satisfying as possible so you don’t end up feeling deprived later on.
2. Purge the Fridge
When it comes to food, what’s your weakness? Do you love sweets or do you prefer salty snacks? Whatever foods that trigger your cravings, get rid of it. Purge your fridge of fattening foods that you reserve on days when the craving hits. Replace these trigger foods with healthier alternatives. For example, if you love chocolates, go for dark chocolates with 70% cocoa. If you prefer potato chips, make your own kale chips!
3. Take a Walk
One way to reduce craving is to distract yourself. An invigorating walk is one way to keep yourself from stress eating while keeping the mind preoccupied. Even better, walking burns a lot of calories too! Talk about hitting two birds with one stone. You can take a leisurely stroll to the nearby park or take a hike if you live near the mountains. Either way, walking is a great stress reliever.
4. Drink Before Eating
You’d be surprised at how often people mistake thirst for hunger. Don’t make the same mistake especially if you are watching what you eat. When hunger strikes, try to drink water first. See if your feeling of hunger is satiated after drinking water or a hot cup of tea. If you’re sure that you’re hungry and not thirsty, then that’s the only time you should eat.
5. Cope with Stress
Emotional eating is often triggered by stress. Instead of making yourself feel better by wolfing down a whole pizza by yourself, look for productive and relaxing ways to cope with stress. A deep-tissue massage is one way to diffuse stress. Yoga and meditation are great ways to banish stress and soothe frayed nerves. You can also paint, read a book or complete pending house chores to ease stress. The point is, instead of binge eating to the point that you hate yourself in the morning; find a creative outlet to let stress out.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Did you know that sleep-deprived individuals take in 300 more calories in a day than people who got a good night’s sleep? Sleep deprivation triggers the body to consume more sugary foods to compensate for the lack of energy and fatigue. Make it a habit to get at least 7 hours of sleep every day so you don’t overeat the next day!
7. Forgive Yourself
Slip-ups will happen no matter how vigilant you are at keeping track of your eating behavior. SO don’t be too hard on yourself if you slipped up and ate a donut or two. Instead of feeling bad about it, find healthy ways to compensate for minor lapses in judgment. For instance, walk on the treadmill for 40 to 60 minutes to burn off the extra calories instead of feeling guilty and doing nothing at all.