This is a collaborative post.
Food cravings are intense and almost uncontrollable desires for a particular food and are stronger than normal hunger. They are the greatest and worst enemy of dieters. Different people crave different foods, but those foods are usually processed and junky foods that have high sugar content. Other such foods have lots of salt or unhealthy fats. Thanks to cravings, most people have a hard time cutting weight and keeping it off.
Some tips that can help to prevent and stop cravings for unhealthy foods and sugars include:
Have elaborate meal plans
You need to make good plans for your meals for the day ahead or even the coming week if it is possible. Make your plan well-detailed and even include the in-between snacks or light meals. With a good plan of your meals and knowing what you will eat, you will do away with spontaneity and uncertainty where you are not sure what to eat and may just have to do with quick fixes. When you do not have to think about what to have for your next meal, you are less likely to experience cravings.
Eat proper meals and lots of protein
Some cravings are a result of a lack of crucial nutrients in your meals. Eating proper meals during mealtimes will supply your body with all of the necessary nutrients and will ensure that you do not get hungry shortly after eating, which could make you choose to eat unhealthy foods. Eating a lot of protein is also a good idea since it takes a long time to digest, thus reducing your appetite and preventing you from overeating. A study of teenage girls who were overweight showed that eating a high-protein breakfast minimized their cravings a great deal.
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Drink adequate water
Most of the time, people confuse thirst with hunger or cravings for certain foods. When a sudden urge for a specific food comes up, drink a big glass of water and listen to your body for a few minutes. Surprisingly, you may find that the urge for the food has disappeared since your body was just thirsty. Drinking water also has tons of health benefits. For example, it can help to reduce appetite when drank before meals and assists with losing some pounds.
Avoid getting too hungry
You may have realized that extreme hunger leads to cravings, right? Well, it is critical to prevent getting too hungry by regularly eating proper meals. Having some healthy snacks at your reach can also help, and this can include dried fruits, nuts, and seeds, or other healthy options. You can effectively prevent cravings by not letting yourself get extremely hungry and being properly prepared.
Avoid or manage stress
It has been observed that stress can cause food cravings and have an effect on feeding behaviours, especially among women. Stressed women tend to consume more calories and have more cravings than those who are not stressed. Stress also makes the levels of cortisol rise. This is the hormone that promotes weight retention, especially in the belly area. You can avoid or manage stress by planning, taking breaks, and meditating as well as seeking help.
Most people experience cravings, and it is estimated that about 50% of people get them regularly, which can result in binge eating, unhealthy weight gain, and other problems. Eating proper meals, avoiding getting too hungry, and keeping away from whatever you are craving can help you to stop or prevent cravings for unhealthy foods.