Cravings are universal. Some people have them between breakfast & lunchtime, some during midnight and some throughout the day. These cravings vary a lot. While some people crave salty, others crave sweets, and both are equally disastrous if they go beyond certain limits.
If your goal is to lose weight, then constantly heightened cravings might be an obstacle. “I want to lose weight but I can’t stop eating junk” is one of the most searched items on the web, which is indicative of how dire the situation can get for some people.
There are studies that show that cravings mainly spiral from hormonal imbalances and psychological factors (stress). Here are some tips which can help in curbing cravings and overall stress management:
– Eating More Protein
Protein is the food group that is recommended for people who want to gain muscle and lose weight. Why? Because it helps you stay full for longer while providing adequate nutrition and also curbs your appetite. When it comes to cravings, it is the same ideology. When you are eating more protein than usual and your body feels satiated, then there are fewer chances that you will indulge in your cravings which more often than not are junk foods.
– Being Active
Exercise helps restore hormonal imbalances and can also have a psychological impact by encouraging you to eat on track. Our minds are the devils when at rest or when left empty with no thoughts. “Empty vessels make the most noise” fits perfectly here. If you go out for a walk or indulge yourself in some other activity, there are fewer chances that your brain will wander in the cravings realm making you completely forget about it which is the ultimate goal.
– Having a Meal Plan
Improving your overall diet, creating a structure for mealtimes,, and planning your meals ahead of time can help with time and stress management. Eating at ungodly and inconsistent hours confuses your body making it wanting to eat at all times. If you eat your lunch at 2 PM every day, your body gets accustomed to the timings and rings a bell as it’s expecting food at that hour. However, if the next day you eat lunch later or skip it, then your body feels as if something is wrong making you hungry at hours you usually aren’t.
If you tend to snack, it’s best recommended to spread your meals throughout the day rather than having 3 full meals only. Also opting for whole foods that are more nutrient-dense and choosing foods with more volume will help you stay fuller for longer.
– Prioritizing Sleep
Lack of/poor quality sleep decreases leptin (the hormone responsible for inhibiting hunger) and increased the hunger hormone, ghrelin. Studies have also shown that people who lacked sleep would over-consume food in the evening as the body’s response to consuming extra energy to help it remain alert. Sleep is one of the easiest ways to keep your mind at bay and inhibit cravings.
These were some of the ways through which one can help or curb their cravings. Cravings are not an illness and there is no medication that can help you overcome them. The only person who can help if it goes overboard is you. Nobody understands your body better than yourself. If you give your body proper nutrition, drink plenty of water, plan out your meals and eat on time, your cravings will yell goodbye!