One of the absolute most difficult aspects of eating sensibly in order to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle is the onset of food cravings. Common sense and countless studies have proven that in order to break a habit, the most effective way to stay away from relapse is to avoid the item that makes the habit bad in the first place.
Drug users do exactly this in rehab and ex-smokers avoid cigarettes like the plague. However, without very extreme measures that would dictate that one all but banishes themselves from normal society, there is no executable manner in which a person can avoid seeing and smelling foods that they will crave. However, you are not powerless to stop your cravings. Even if you cannot completely withdraw yourself from foods surrounding you when you enter restaurants, walk through mall food courts, and attend functions thrown by family and friends you can take steps to minimize and eventually abolish your cravings for bad foods.
Tips to combat food cravings:
- Chocolate cravings can usually be staved off by a banana. Even though the taste, smell, and texture aren’t the same, the act of eating the banana will occupy your mouth, taste buds, and even your mind enough to stave off your craving for chocolate.
- Fatty food cravings can be held at bay by eating fish or even by taking fish oil or a flaxseed supplement. The urge for fatty foods may be just your body’s way of telling you that you are low in essential fatty acids.
- Stay away from caffeine, as it can make you crave sugar.
- Wanting sweets? Indulge in some protein such as lean meats or even nuts. Protein, fat, and even fiber keep your blood sugar levels within range and can shut out that sugar craving.
- Exercise regularly. This proactive approach will also curb your appetite.
- Drink water. This is a double-edged proactive approach. Many times, your cravings are nothing more than you being bored enough to eat. Drinking water can replace that calorie-bomb alternative. Additionally, what feels like hunger may actually be thirst in disguise.
- Avoid your kitchen and anywhere else “bad” foods are found. Of course, you can’t run all the time, but when possible, this is a great strategy.
- Sugarless gum can help you stave off many cravings. It gives your mouth something to do and cure its “boredom.”