Food cravings can be your worst enemy, especially if you are trying to diet or shed some pounds. These are uncontrollable and intense desires for certain foods that tend to be stronger than hunger. The foods people crave vary from one person to another but are often sugars and carbs.
Are you trying to stop your sugar and carbs cravings naturally?
Below are some tips that could help you tame them.
1. Drink Water
Many are times when thirst is confused with food cravings or hunger. When you suddenly feel the urge to eat a specific food, try having a glass of water. A few minutes after drinking the glass of water, you might find the craving fading away since your body was just thirsty.
Additionally, drinking enough water has plenty of health benefits to your body, like normalizing your blood pressure, flushing out bacteria, cushioning joints, and aiding digestion, among many others. For middle-aged and older people, drinking water before a meal can reduce appetite and help them lose weight.
2. Take a walk
Another effective technique to control your cravings is distancing yourself from them. For example, once you feel a craving kicking in, take a walk around the block or shift your mind to something else.
Engaging in something different or changing the environment shifts your mind off the food you crave and helps stop it.
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3. Chew some gum
Chewing a stick of gum is an easy way to avoid giving in to your sugar cravings. Instead of reaching for that cookie, try chewing some gum first, and you'll be surprised that your urge subsides.
Research has proven that chewing gum reduces your appetite and cravings.
4. Take a Hot Shower
Hot baths or showers help provide relief for people experiencing sugar cravings.
You need to ensure the water is hot; not hot enough to burn your skin, but should be on the verge of making you feel uncomfortable.
Stay in the shower for a good 5-10 minutes, allowing the water to heat you as it runs over your shoulders and back. The end of your shower session will feel like you just had a sauna session, and you are likely to feel dazed. Also, you will notice that the urge you had has significantly reduced.
5. Quality over quantity
If you must have a sugar splurge, ensure you pick a decent one and keep the quantity small. Instead of going for a full-sized candy bar, choose a dark chocolate truffle and savour every bite slowly.
You can also select a healthier version like fruit instead of having a cookie. Incorporate less sugary foods in your diet, and focus on filling your stomach with healthier options.
6. Eat regularly
Staying long hours without eating is highly likely to lead you to have large carb portions and sugary foods to cut down hunger. Instead, strive to have a meal or healthy snack every three to five hours. This helps stabilize your blood sugar hence avoiding irrational eating behaviour.
Ensure to incorporate protein and fiber-rich foods such as produce and whole-grain meals in your diet.
7. Going cold turkey
Going cold turkey is another option to explore if you want to curb your sugar cravings. However, not so much for the carbs as your body does need the nutrients they provide, and it is therefore not advisable to cut them out completely.
The first few days of cutting out on all simple sugars will be challenging, but it does work for some people. The cravings are likely to diminish after a few days; you might still crave a sugary treat, but over time, you can train your taste buds to be satisfied with less sugar.
8. Fight Stress
Research has shown that stress can induce cravings and influence your eating behaviours. Women are significantly affected by this, and those under stress are likely to increase significantly the number of calories they take.
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In addition, stress raises the level of cortisol in your blood, a hormone responsible for weight gain, especially around the belly area. Try and incorporate some stress coping mechanisms in your day-to-day life, like practising yoga, words of affirmation, or deep inhalations and exhalations to relax your body.
9. Grab a fruit
Fruit comes in very handy when you have sugar cravings. A fruit will do more good to your body than a cookie or candy bar would; along with the sweetness, your body gets some fiber and nutrients.
Ensure to stock up on foods like dried fruits, seeds, and nuts that you can reach for instead of having the old sugary stuff. The fiber will also give you a good filling, and you will not need to serve a huge portion of pasta or carb in your next meal.
10. Healthy and Filling Meal when hungry
It is important to note that hunger and cravings are not the same things—craving something when hungry becomes a powerful drive that is hard to resist and overcome.
If you are hungry and find yourself craving something, it would be best to eat a healthy and filling meal immediately. Foods rich in protein like meat, eggs, and fish are an excellent option to curb hunger. Ensure your kitchen is stocked up on healthy snacks or pre-prep on your meals to ensure you have something healthy to serve once you are hungry or having cravings.
Having healthy food when your craving sugary junk food will definitely not feel very appetizing, but the resilience will be worth it.
11. Planning Your Meals
Planning your meals and knowing what you will eat for the next meal will avoid spontaneity and the likelihood of snacking on unhealthy stuff. You can begin by planning your meals for the day and, if possible, for the whole week.
Meal plans are great as they promote eating discipline and eventually train your mind to stick to a particular feeding program. You can also incorporate enough nutrients into your meal in advance, hence avoiding large carb potions.
If you don't have to figure out what to eat next, you will be less likely to experience cravings.
12. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough hours of sleep is a great way to curb your sugar and carb cravings. Studies show that sleep-deprived people are at a higher risk of becoming obese than people who have enough sleep.
You may wonder why so. Well, your appetite is affected by hormones that fluctuate throughout the day ad sleep deprivations disrupt these fluctuations, leading to strong cravings and poor appetite regulation.
Curbing sugar and carb cravings does not have a one-time solution. It will require some adjustments to your lifestyle and day-to-day life activities. It is a wellness journey that calls for discipline and self-control, not forgetting consistency.
With the tips discussed in this article, we believe it will be easier for you to control your cravings and lead a healthier lifestyle naturally. Let's get started, shall we?
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