About a moment you are just going through your daily routine and in the next moment you are in the clutches of a strong desire. You might be yearning for either a chocolate truffle cake or something really high in sugar. After this, you know it is in your hands and you are having it madly. What was this? This is what known as a Food Craving. I used to have such moments a lot. But, from past 3 years I learned how to manage them and today I will be sharing it with you.
After the birth of my child, as all the mothers know our little one keep us awake all around the clock. I was the one who used to spend a lot of time holding the refrigerator door open, looking for answers to my food cravings. And,,, indulge in something really unhealthy.
Gradually I realized that I have to do something about it. I was gaining a lot of weight and was not that active as I used to be before. The incredible change happened in my life when I decided to take control on my food cravings. This self-control had helped me a lot. I had to take the most important step. This was knowing all the tempting stuff in front of me, all my family and friends telling me it’s fine to have it once in a while and deciding I won’t eat it.
Following are the simple changes that you can make in your daily lifestyle to manage the food cravings. I am sure if I can do it, you can do it too.
1. Challenge the Thought of the Food
Whenever I had a craving, I use to take a minute’s breathing break. And,, ask myself, whether I really need to have this food which is coming into my mind? Am I actually hungry? I don’t have to keep on eating something every time I think of food.
In this way you can manage eating the healthy food and stop binge eating. This is because you will observe the actual sensation of hunger now! Even substituting the thought of food with some another pleasant thought helps.
2. Drink Water to let go the Food Cravings
Another cause that I found was that, I often used to confuse my urge of drinking water with my craving for food. So, I started drinking water more frequently especially when I had a sudden urge for a certain food. After enjoying my glass of water in short sips, I found that my craving vanished. Also having a glass of water, 30 min before my meal and 30min after the meal has reduced food cravings. Leading to a gradual weight loss.
3. Planning my Meals
Initially whenever I had a craving, I tried to ignore my hunger. But, afterwards I used to have more stronger cravings and felt the urge of eating high calorie treats. Then I thought of planning my meals which actually helped. Now, I always plan my meals for the upcoming week and have them at proper scheduled time. This also helps me to shop for all the healthy food in advance for the week. Timing your meals and distributing the calories throughout the day helps to keep the cravings at bay.
4. Going to Bed Early
Basically, the later we stay up, we tend to eat more food, right? We keep on eating till the last hour before going to bed, leading to eat more unhealthy food. Also, as per the studies, not getting enough sleep releases the hormones that are linked to hunger. These can spark more food cravings the next day.
5. Fight food cravings with Exercise
After including exercise in my routine, I was able to get past my food cravings much more easily. Even 20-30 minutes of daily aerobic exercise reduce my urge of having food all the time. Moreover it helped me to remain active throughout the day. Also the body releases happy hormones when exercising, which is a plus plus for a positive mood.
And yes, just in case you overindulge don’t think that, ‘Oh well, I already had French fries, I might eat the ice cream as well’. Please guys such food will keep your body deprived of essential nutrients leading to more food cravings. Always remember a good healthy food is always a good mood and gives us positive vibes.
If you are amongst those who have a sweet tooth then you may read Healthy-Natural Sweetener Alternatives to Replace Sugar. At least these natural and healthy substitutes are not empty calories and will provide you with other nutrients. And if you are the one who eats everything by counting calories, then just go through Is it Really Necessary to Count Calories?