10 Ways to Stop Unhealthy Food Cravings
- Possible Pat
- July 2, 2018
Learning to live a healthier life and losing weight is hard enough without dealing with craving unhealthy foods. Knowing how to deal with them, rather than giving into them, can be the difference between achieving the success you want and stopping your progress.
Cravings for unhealthy foods can be strong and appear unexpectedly. They can be so intense that we feel like we have no choice but to give into them. An intense craving can even, for a moment, make us feel like losing weight just isn’t worth it.
As intense as these cravings are, once we give into them, it cannot only slow or halt progress, but it can leave us feeling guilty and disappointed in ourselves. Giving into cravings often doesn’t have a true, lasting reward.
If you deal with cravings, there are ways you can decrease their intensity and frequency. You may even be able to eliminate them all together. Below are 10 ways that you can deal with and eliminate your cravings.
When you begin your weight loss journey, your first step should be to eliminate temptation. This means cleaning out your house and removing all the unhealthy food. Whether you throw it away or give it away, just get it out. Those chips sitting in the cupboard? Get rid of it. The ice cream in the freezer? Get rid of it. If there are others in your household and you can’t simply get certain items out of the house, talk to the ones you live with and see if you can designate a specific area of your kitchen to those foods. This way you know to avoid it, so you don’t have to see it.
Losing weight and eating healthy is hard enough without having to open the pantry only to see your favorite treat. If you don’t see that treat, to begin with, the less likely you are to think about it and want it. You are then less likely to give in and eat something you shouldn’t.
Remember, out of sight, out of mind.
Know Your Triggers
Cravings don’t just happen because we are hungry, but instead can be set off with specific triggers. Triggers may include a memory, spending time with a particular person, being in stressful situations, going to a place where you associate a specific unhealthy food, or doing something that would typically end in a treat.
Not everyone has the same triggers, but learning to recognize those triggers will help you either avoid the situation or alter it so that you don’t crave that unhealthy food.
Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water can help you eliminate cravings. If you don’t drink enough water, you can quickly become dehydrated, and this alone can lead to cravings as the signals in our body become mixed.
To stay hydrated be sure you drink water and not sodas, coffees, and energy drinks. These types of drinks won’t help keep you hydrated and can even do the exact opposite.
Don’t Skip Meals
Skipping meals can lead to added hunger and intense cravings. This can then cause the need to quickly refuel without caring what you eat or where it comes from. Cravings happen when we skip meals because it causes a drop in blood sugar, making you feel sluggish. When your blood sugar drops you crave sugar and carbs as a quick pick me up, and while it makes you feel better short-term, it can affect your weight loss results.
Meal prepping is a great way to not only stay on track and be sure you are eating healthy at every meal but also a great way to be sure you are eating all of your meals. By meal prepping, you are less likely to skip meals which leads to craving unhealthy foods.
Protein keeps you full longer and more satiated so be sure to include it at each meal. Consuming protein throughout the day will help you avoid cravings and stay on track to your goals.
For me, this is another reason I use a protein supplement. It helps me be sure I am consuming enough protein so that I don’t end up craving unhealthy foods.
Life can get stressful, and I get it. Stress is unavoidable, but stress can also lead to craving unhealthy food so it is important to learn how to minimize your stress so you can minimize your cravings.
Some small ways you can reduce your stress are by learning to balance all aspects of your life, whether it be at home, at work, or with your weight loss. You can also reduce stress by meal prepping. This can lead to less worry about what you are eating throughout the week and can give you more time to focus on other important areas of your life.
Get Enough Sleep
Sometimes we can forget how much sleep impacts our life. I know I have been guilty of this, but it is so important to your goals to get enough sleep. Lacking sleep can lead to additional stress and more cravings. When you don’t sleep enough, it can affect the hormones and signals in our body that tell us when we are hungry or full. This means that lack of sleep can lead you to feelings of hunger when your body doesn’t actually need to eat.
Be sure you are getting to bed at a decent time so that you can wake up refreshed. At least 7 hours of sleep every night will help you regulate your cravings for unhealthy food and manage the stress in your life. Ultimately, this will lead to success and weight loss.
When you get a strong sugar craving, instead of reaching for a candy bar that is full of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, grab some fruit instead. A handful of berries or slices of fruit will be sweet and help you satisfy those cravings without ruining your diet.
If you are on a Custom Meal Plan, talk to your nutritionist about some healthy alternative snacks that can help satisfy your sweet tooth.
Cravings happen, but learning how to minimize then can often start with learning how to deal with them. One of the best ways to deal with cravings is by having the support of others, whether it be through an online group, friends or family. Having people that support you will give you someone to go to when an intense cravings hit. These people can help you work through it, recognize what it was that triggered the craving and they can help you find alternative ways to satisfy that craving.
Food cravings are never fun to deal with and at times can be extremely intense. Some cravings can get so bad that they may make you want to throw in the towel and give up on your weight loss goals. However, just because some cravings can be incredibly intense doesn’t mean they can’t be managed or stopped altogether. Use the tips listed above to eliminate your cravings so you can be sure to reach all of your weight loss goals.
Learning how to deal with your cravings and eliminate them will help you lose the weight keep it off for good.
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About Possible Pat
Hi, I'm Pasquale Brocco and I've lost A LOT of weight. When I started my journey to lose weight, I weighed 605 pounds. After visiting the doctor, I realized I had to make a change. I started with a simple plan and within 60 days, I lost 100 lbs. So far, I've lost over 307 pounds. Now, I'm sharing a simple message with you, "Anything is possible." If you can put on the weight, you can lose the weight.