One of the hardest things about being on a diet is sticking to the straight and narrow and battling those intense junk food urges. From fast food to candy bars, processed, sugary foods are around every corner and are almost too accessible when your toughest cravings strike. It’s important to fend off uncontrollable cravings and to develop better, healthier eating habits. Here are 6 simple tips to combat food cravings.
1. Get More Sleep
Sleep deprivation can create hormonal imbalances that lead to increased feelings of hunger and, subsequently, overeating. A lack of sleep can also jumble your brain’s reward center and compel you to eat more junk. To combat these cravings, make sure you have a supportive mattress and are getting at least 7-8 hours of deep sleep every day.
2. Eat More Protein
Adding a bit of protein, like meat or fish, to each of your meals can keep you feeling fuller longer. Protein actually decreases your level of ghrelin, a hunger hormone, so you’re less apt to satisfy your cravings and consume extra calories.
3. Drink More Water
Next time a craving strikes, try drinking a full glass of water. When you’re thirsty, your body often mistakes mild dehydration for hunger. Sipping water regularly and consuming at least 8 glasses a day will not only keep you hydrated, but keep you feeling full.
4. Don’t Get Overly Hungry
Allowing yourself to get overly hungry could lead to binge eating later on. Try not to dramatically restrict your calorie intake. Eat regularly and keep healthy snacks at the ready so you don’t crack from hungry and find yourself knee deep in the processed foods you’ve been trying to cut out!
5. Plan Your Meals
Combat food cravings by planning your meals for the day (or even week). If you know what you’re going to eat in advance, before hunger strikes, you’ll be less likely to think about or be tempted by impulsive cravings.
6. Make Good Choices Convenient
Clean the junk out of your kitchen cabinets and stock up on healthy snacks like fresh fruit, greek yogurt, nut butter, cottage cheese, and more. If good choices are within arms reach, you’re less likely to give in to your chocolate chip muffin craving.
Crush Those Cravings!
Combating food cravings can be even more difficult when you’re on a diet and trying to lose weight. Be mindful of what your body needs rather than what your body wants. Avoid processed, sugary foods and nourish your body with healthy, mindful choices.
Need help implementing these strategies into your daily life? Dr. Lorraine Maita is a recognized and award-winning holistic, functional, and anti-aging physician and author. She transforms people’s lives by getting to the root cause of illness using the best of science and nature. Her approach is personalized, precision medicine where you are treated as the unique individual you are. If you’re ready to start your journey to a healthier, happier life, schedule your visit today!