5 Easy Tips To Fend Off Food Cravings And Lose Weight
Do you frequently feel that you absolutely must have a slice of cake, a slab of chocolate, or some chips to munch on? Unfortunately, this can sometimes snowball, and you may end up binge eating. There is no denying that food cravings are a dieter’s downfall.
Satisfying cravings can become a habit, and it gradually becomes easy to grab mouth-watering, calorie-dense, and nutrient-poor foods without thinking about the consequences.
Don’t let food cravings sabotage your weight loss goals! These five strategies can help you with managing food cravings so you can stay on track in your weight loss journey.
1. Drink a tall glass of water
If you feel sudden food cravings, try drinking a glass of water instead. Sometimes, you may even feel your urge fade because you were just thirsty. The body often misinterprets signals from the brain, and thirst can sometimes be confused with hunger or food cravings.
Additionally, drinking an adequate amount of water helps you stay hydrated and lose weight. If plain water sounds boring, try infusing it with some slices of lemon, lime, or cucumber, among other refreshing alternatives.
2. Optimise your kitchen or pantry design
An effective way to manage a craving is to distance yourself from it. As we like to say, “out of sight, out of mind”. Re-equip your kitchen and keep healthy snacks around. You can’t give in to unhealthy food cravings if the food is not in your pantry in the first place!
Another tip is to refrain from stocking up on certain foods that may trigger your binge eating when you head grocery shopping. That way, the next time you crave them, you would have to put in extra effort to get them. This would encourage you to opt for your healthy options.
3. Brush your teeth
Part of having food cravings is the anticipation of the mouth-watering taste of food. Well, almost nothing tastes good after you’ve brushed your teeth or gargled with an antiseptic mouthwash! The cool mint flavour makes it hard to eat anything afterwards.
You can also opt for sugar-free candy, which uses artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. These have fewer to no calories and may be all you need to satisfy your sweet tooth — with less impact on your blood sugar levels.
4. Don’t skip your three balanced meals
Follow a consistent meal pattern daily, with an emphasis on protein. Protein keeps you full for longer, reduces cravings and keeps you from overeating. Eating a high-protein breakfast, in particular, can result in fewer cravings for sweet and savoury foods.
Plan your meals and nutritious snacks to eliminate that factor of uncertainty. Never skip your meals to prevent hunger pangs and low blood sugar, which can trigger cravings.
5. Practice mindful eating
The bottom line is willpower! This may sound intuitive, but you need to ask yourself if you are actually hungry. It’s important to distinguish whether your cravings are physical or psychological. While you may think food cravings come from the stomach, your brain is the more responsible party. One should never deny hunger pangs, but there’s a difference between that and mental or emotional cravings.
Mindful eating makes you more aware of your eating habits and sensations like physical hunger and food cravings. It motivates you to respond wisely instead of acting impulsively. Many people find it helpful to keep a food journal or planner, jotting down their cravings, how long they lasted and how they handled the situation— this makes acting on strategies more productive.
Part of living a healthy lifestyle is knowing how to listen to your body. If you are truly hungry, it’s crucial not to deprive yourself. But it’s equally vital to distinguish mental cravings and devise measures to deal with them effectively.
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