Stop Hunger-How to Curb Cravings and Stay on a Weight Loss Plan
Have you ever experienced unrelenting hunger? You've eaten and eaten plenty but within only a few hours - maybe less - you're hungry again?
It can be so disheartening. How will you ever lose weight if you're plagued by hunger? There are some little "tricks of the trade" that can help you get those cravings under control.
Hunger vs. Cravings
First, let's define "hunger" and "cravings". They are not the same, though each can be tough to tame.
Hunger is something that many of us almost never experience. Hunger is when your stomach is empty of food and lets out a real rumble. Some people would say that their stomach is "growling"! When your stomach is talking to you, it's truly time to eat. Now, don't get that confused with digestive activity.
Digesting food can move around a bit too, usually in the lower intestinal region. Your stomach is located up a bit higher than that and it can take 4 to even 24 hours to really growl, depending how dense your last meal was.
Cravings are a pull to eat when true hunger is not present. It is more a "yearning" for food and may be associated with a number of obscure causes. The cravings may be related to blood sugar. If your blood sugar is falling, you need something to stabilize it even though your not truly hungry. In a healthy person (not diabetic), it shouldn't take much food to correct the issue. Even a few sips of sweetened fruit juice should tame it. Oftentimes, though, we take cravings as a signal to have another meal or a yummy dessert. Too much of that, and obesity sets in.
Other sources of cravings may be driven by boredom, fatigue or emotions. The term "comfort food" didn't come out of thin air. Many of us use high fat, high calorie, high sugar foods to bring comfort to stress-filled lives.
When you eat a meal, do you stop eating before you're stuffed? If you have a hard time saying "no" to that second helping, learn how from this expert. She lost over 100 lbs learning "hungry and full"
Hunger Taming Tricks
Dieters often complain that hunger comes too quickly or too often for them to stick with the plan. They find themselves cheating and, therefore, over eating and the diet is broken.
Here are some little tricks to help you stay on your weight loss plan:
1. Eat when you're hungry, stop when you're just full. Sounds strange to invite hunger but if you are willing to wait for TRUE hunger, then you can detect when "full" arrives. When true hunger occurs, eat. Take your time and listen to your body. When hunger is relieved--and before "stuffed" arrives-- you will have ingested just enough to go on with your day and feel great!
2. Eat slowly. Savor each bite and enjoy it. Many of us eat so fast that it's hard to remember what we ate...or that we ate! We reach for more food to prolong the experience. Slow eating will lengthen the enjoyment without adding to the amount of food you eat.
3. When you eat, eat "real" food. Reduced calorie diet foods often lack nutrition and/or flavor. Your body will crave more food, looking for satisfaction that they can't give. Real foods have substance are more fulfilling. Just watch the quantities.
4. Drink water. Many of us just don't drink enough of it and water can stave off hunger for some length of time. Unsweetened tea or coffee will also delay hunger.
5. Eat green vegetables. These high fiber, low calorie foods can curb hunger and fill you up. Green beans, celery, zucchini, broccoli, cucumbers, green peppers and lettuce all are good choices.
6. Add foods and spices to your diet that curb hunger: cinnamon, vinegar, grapefruit, bee pollen, protein, spicy foods and tea.
Have food cravings been your downfall?
Foods To Stop Hunger
Some foods do a better job than others when it comes to balancing blood sugar and fighting off cravings.
Cinnamon--this naturally sweet spice regulates blood sugar, therefore curbing hunger. Sprinkle it on plain yogurt, whole grain toast or lite English muffins, apple slices or anything you like! Put a dash in your coffee or tea for a little extra flavor.
Vinegar--apple cider vinegar from the bottle or even in tablet form has long been used to curb hunger. Use it on your salad and as a topping for steamed spinach or greens.
Grapefruit--this nutritious citrus fruit helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and encourages fat-burning enzyme activity.
Protein--dieters often forsake protein because of it's high caloric content. This is a mistake. Not only do we need lean protein for essential amino acids and energy, protein keeps us full longer.
Fiber – foods high in fiber are natural appetite suppressants. Fiber bulks as it comes in contact with water or other fluids. It also digests more slowly, therefore extending the time before true hunger returns. Whole grains, vegetables, legumes and fruits are all healthy sources of fiber. It is important to drink plenty of water with fiber-filled foods in order to prevent constipation.
Spicy Foods--certain spice,s such as hot peppers, have been found to suppress the appetite.
Green Tea--all teas, especially green tea, stabilize blood sugar and reduce food cravings.
Skip foods that increase hunger--foods that are high in sugar or convert into sugar quickly. These would include white or brown sugar, corn syrup, junk food, white flour, white rice, food additives such as MSG and sugar substitutes.
My Fitness Pal
It's so important for our children to learn good nutrition and weight control at an early age so that they will enjoy optimum health throughout their lives. This hub about My Fitness Pal will tell you all about the fun, free app and how it can be incorporated into lessons for your kids: Putting My Fitness Pal To The Classroom Test.
In conclusion, there are many great weight loss plans out there but shear will power and determination may not be enough for you to stay on them long enough to reach your goal.
If cravings are what is getting you, one of these tips could be the key to helping you stay on track.
More about: Diet and Weightloss