Cravings – how to get rid of them (Part 1)
Chocolate, donuts, pizza – sometimes we have that urgent need for a specific food, although we aren’t really hungry. If you’ve found out that munching unhealthy snacks just makes you crave for, you’re not alone. Food addiction can be hard and sometimes it seems impossible to be able to stop it. But don’t worry, we show you the best way how to eliminate cravings for good.
First of all, let me explain the difference between cravings and real hunger. It’s a natural calling when you’re truly hungry, you need food to satisfy this hunger and any type of food will do so. Then you won’t have to eat any longer as you are not hungry any more.
In contrast, cravings aren't instinctive. It’s not essential to eat specific food you are craving for. Cravings and overeating are learned behaviors, shaped over time - especially during childhood. The good news is that your body is like a computer and you can re-learn a natural feeling of satiety.
Don’t let cravings ruin your diet!
Here are the best tips for re-learning how to beat cravings or over-eating.
1. Eat real food
Cravings are the body's way of telling us something is missing. While you might crave for something sweet, your body maybe is lacking the mineral chromium, which can be found in beef, kidney, carrots and broccoli. Switch from processed food to unprocessed, whole food. This food gives you all the nutrients your body needs.
2. Cut bad carbs
When talking about food addiction, eating lots of simple carbohydrates can quickly satisfy hunger and give your body a short-term energy boost, but they leave you famished again quite quickly and craving you for more. So, stop eating simple carbs like corn flakes, white rice, white bread or pasta and choose complex carbs like oats, sweet potatoes, brown rice or quinoa.
3. Drink water first
It sounds so simple, but it really works. Before you eat something between meals, drink water first – preferably 1-2 glasses. We often ignore our natural need to drink water, opting for food instead.
4. Choose healthier snacks
Fight the urge to eat junk food and choose a protein-snack like yogurt, vegetables with hummus or fresh fruit. These options will not only add nutrients to your diet, they'll keep you filled up for a longer period than a bag of chips or a chocolate bar.
5. Avoid artificial sweeteners
Studies have shown that artificial sweeteners like aspartame and saccharine can trigger cravings, may change your gut bacteria and can cause diabetes. Therefore, cut it out!
6. Try Sugar Alternatives
Instead of eating high sugary foods or drinking diet soda, reach for Stevia, honey or coconut sugar. Keep in mind to use it sparingly.
7. Eat more protein
Protein is great for satiety and it may help to ban cravings as well. So when you crave for sugary food, grab a protein shake, eggs, turkey or a small piece of meat.
8. Talk to a friend
Meet or call someone who understands what you’re going through and ask for a few words of encouragement.