Reduce Food Cravings
Beat Food Addictions
Food cravings or being a food addict makes maintaining a healthy weight extremely difficult, particularly when served foods is typical of the holiday season. Often times you may not even be hungry, but seeing food that is tempting will cause you to eat, just because you know it is delicious. One of the keys to controlling your weight if you are going to eat some calorie laden food is to decide ahead of time the exact amount of the serving you will take, and stick with this plan. Of course, there are no second helpings.
Another way to maintain weight is to write down everything you eat each day. If you keep a food diary, your chances of success greatly increase.
Holiday Meal -Roasted Turkey
Food Addictions and Food Cravings
Personally I do not have a problem with food addictions, but I would consider food cravings more of a problem, particularly during the holidays. A food addiction is difficult to overcome and takes consistent awareness on your part to change the old ingrained patterns.
Some of the things that can cause food cravings are blood sugar imbalances, emotional and hormonal factors and a few cravings may be due to a food allergy. It seems strange that you would crave a food you are allergic to, but it can happen according to the doctors.
I decided to do a little research before the holidays to determine what I can do to avoid succumbing to food cravings this year. Of course, learning to eat in moderation is extremely helpful, as you want to enjoy the delicious holiday meals. I already eat several small meals a day, rather than 2 or 3 large ones. If you haven’t tried this, it might be helpful as eating at regular intervals is very helpful in avoiding cravings and it increases your metabolism. You don’t want to just eat diet foods during the holidays, but you can plan your meals to avoid the food which will increase your sugar cravings and still eat food that you enjoy in moderation.
There are some things I already knew were helpful, such as drinking several glasses of water throughout the day, as this will help decrease your hunger and putting a small slice of lemon in the water further decreases your appetite.
Tips to Decrease Food Cravings
These are some of the other things to help with food cravings, yet enjoy your life:
- If you are preparing the holiday meal, buy what you need, but don’t buy other junk food that will tempt you.
- Keep a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables on hand, so when you are hungry there will be something readily available to eat. By eating the vegetables and fruit you will also get plenty of vitamin and minerals.
- Instead of candy or cookies, try frozen grapes, pineapple, etc. to meet that sugar craving.
- Complex carbohydrates instead of simple carbohydrates will give you energy and increase your fiber intake. Simple carbohydrates contain sugar, which increases your desire to eat more items with sugar.
- For a natural appetite suppressant, eating an ounce of nuts will take away your cravings within 20 minutes. Drink 2 glasses of water and eat 6 walnuts, 12 almonds or 20 peanuts. The craving you had will be gone, because this actually changes your body chemistry per Michael F. Roizen, MD.
- Salmon, a high protein food, is a natural appetite suppressant. Spicy foods are also suppressants. Hot soups, in general, will help also.
- Curb food cravings by exercising for 30 minutes at least 3 times a week, which will boost your metabolism and help burn calories.
- Avoid dining out and take your lunch to work. Then, you have perfect control over what you eat and it won’t be fast food or calorie laden snacks.
- While one cup of strong coffee in the morning will help you eat less, generally speaking you want to reduce the number of drinks that act as stimulants, such as coffee, tea, and caffeinated soft drinks. Replace them with herbal teas, spring water and fruit juices. Also, artificial sweeteners are 200 times sweeter than sugar, and they just increase your sugar cravings.
Healthy Fruit Basket
6 Tips to Control Your Food Cravings
Some of the emotional causes of food cravings are boredom, stress and depression.
Stress is a major trigger as it can cause you to eat when you are not really that hungry. I have heard the term “comfort food” and that is what we are doing when we eat due to stress. It is an attempt to comfort ourselves.
Learning to deal with stress effectively is very helpful method to break the cycle of emotional eating. People do that in a variety of ways, such as calming meditation, exercise, yoga or a short nap can be helpful and learning to respond differently to a difficult co-worker can do wonders for your stress level. Take five deep breaths and feel your body down. I have been using that method for years and it works for me. Listening to music you enjoy can lower your stress level as well.
I hope some of these tips are helpful to you if you are trying to beat food addictions or get food craving under control to lose weight or maintain your current weight. You still want to enjoy all the pleasures of holiday food, but do it in moderation versus eating the calorie laden food numerous days in a row. I hope you enjoy a very happy holiday time!
Holiday Weight Gain
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© 2010 Pamela Oglesby
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