Food Craving and Weight Loss

Women tend to crave for food more than men and it can be your worst enemy when sticking to a specific diet plan. Following a healthier diet and opting for healthier food choices is not an easy feat. Most of the time, fighting off the desire to eat what you want makes you crave for it even more. People have to endure sticking on their diet plan and conquer all their unhealthy food cravings.

What is Food Cravings?

Cravings can come in and stay around for a while disrupting what could have been a successful diet plan. Women are more affected by food cravings than men because of the hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. But why is it so hard to fight? Cravings, whether it is food, drugs or activities are likely embedded deep in a person’s DNA. When a craving is indulged, the mind release endorphins which is a feel-good chemical. And, because people feel good about satisfying that craving, they start to come for more.  

Food cravings can vary by gender. Men are attracted to heavy and meal-type and filling food such as steak, burgers, and pizza. On the other hand, women tend to seek snacks, sweets, and desserts. The list of food cravings for women would include salty snacks, chocolates, and ice cream. They also seek iced coffee products, milk tea, and sweet milkshakes to satisfy their cravings.

Food cravings would not really pose any problems if people were craving for healthy choices such as broccoli, kale or other produce. Unfortunately, it is not the case with cravings and withstanding temptation can become even more complicated to fight. Cravings can be uncontrollable and intense that one experiences stronger hunger pangs until it is satisfied. This is one of the reasons why people have difficulty losing weight and maintaining their ideal weight.

Conquering Food Cravings

Why it is challenging, conquering food cravings is possible and doable with simple changes in one’s daily routine. Here are some ways to help you fight off food cravings and stick to your healthy diet plans.

Drinking Plenty of Water

Food cravings or sudden hunger for a particular type of food are usually misinterpreted for feeling thirsty. Try drinking plenty of water during such episodes and you might be surprised that the hunger or cravings fade away. Sometimes the body is just thirsty and not really hungry. Before eating meals, drink plenty of water to lessen food cravings. This is beneficial for people trying to lose and keep off the weight.

Planning Meals

When you plan your meals for the next days or for the whole week, the risk of uncertainty and being impulsive with their meals. A meal plan helps you choose healthier ingredients and allows you to control what goes into your meal. Knowing what you are going to eat the next days eliminates uncertainties and longingness which may lead to sudden cravings for specific foods.

Add More Protein to Your Meals

Including more protein-rich food to your everyday meals have proven to help hunger pangs, tone down your appetite and keep you from overeating. More protein rich food in your diet can reduce food cravings by up to 60%. You feel more satisfied and full longer, thus there are lesser chances of snacking and cravings.

Avoid Going Hungry

Depriving oneself and going extremely hungry sets off uncontrollable food cravings. Avoid going hungry by eating regular but small meals. You may also take healthy snacks such as peanuts instead of sugary biscuits and chips. If going hungry cannot be avoided, have a healthy snack ready in your bag in case you feel hungry already.

Combating Stress

Stress has various causes. It can be due to the working environment, stressful situations at home and others. When a person experiences stress, he or she may also have stronger cravings for food and affect eating behaviors. Combat stress with relaxing activities or by letting go of negative energies by exercising. When the body and mind are rejuvenated, stress will be avoided and food cravings will also be stopped.  

Check Your Mood

One factor that makes women more prone to experiencing food craving is their mood changes. Women crave unhealthy foods and junk food when they are feeling sad, depressed or bummed out. When in a celebratory mood, women are also compelled to seek food as a reward. The best way to counter this is to find tangible treats such as buying new sneakers or getting pampered in a spa.

Practicing Mindful Eating

The practice of mindfulness is not just about eating. Mindfulness is a form of meditation which we can relate to food and eating. Practicing mindfulness makes one more aware of his eating habits, emotional well-being, hunger and food cravings. Being mindful of one’s eating habits means learning and recognizing the difference between simple cravings and real hunger.

Eating Proper Meals

Improper meals mean not having your meals at the supposed time and not eating the right kind of food. This can cause cravings and unhealthy snacking. This is why it is very important to eat the right kind of food during meal times. The body gets proper nutrients and prevents you from going hungry after mealtime.

Get More Sleep

Sleep deprivation can also cause fluctuations in one’s hormones and appetite. Not getting enough sleep will disrupt appetite regulation and lead to stronger cravings. With enough sleep, a person is well rested which also helps in keeping stress at bay. Choosing to be healthy is not just about proper food, exercise or diet. Getting enough sleep is also essential in conquering food cravings and controlling weight gain.

Keep Away from Cravings and Temptations

One of the best ways to conquer food cravings is to distance yourself from it. Avoid going to the grocery when you are hungry and prepare a grocery list so that you will only pass by stalls where your needs are located. Chewing gum also helps control appetite and reduce cravings. While you are busy working, you can chew on a piece of gum to keep your mind and appetite from disrupting you with unnecessary food cravings.

Food cravings are common and normal events that people experience. For those going on a diet, food cravings can be a huge challenge that must be conquered. Practicing mindfulness when it comes to food and eating is an effective way to distinguish hunger from cravings. Learn that craving for certain food can fade away because constantly giving into these cravings will lead to more weight gain.

Sources: http://www.oprah.com/health/conquer-your-food-cravings-bob-greene/all

https://www.southwestfamilymed.com/blog/how-to-conquer-food-cravings