Food cravings often have a way of making us choose unhealthy foods. Are there some practical ways to ward off those regrettable cravings?
A food craving is an intense desire to eat a sugary treat or savory item. The reasons for the cravings may be:
- Simple hunger, if we have not eaten for a long period
- Hormonal changes, for example, during menstruation or pregnancy
- The emotional state of being upset, stressed, bored or nervous
- The habit of eating something during certain activities, for example, having coffee while working or snacking when watching television.
Mostly, we tend to reach for foods that are quick to eat and will immediately curb the craving, which results in unhealthy food choices. The problem with this is that you will gain weight. Remember - 'a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips!'.
The good news is that food cravings can be dealt with more practically, and some options are mentioned below.
Understand the reason behind your food cravings:
There can be different triggers, such as stress or sadness, for food cravings, and you must learn to identify them. Make a notebook to jot down the patterns of your cravings. It is also essential to pay attention to your body. Try to determine your health status when you have a craving.
Eat frequent but light meals:
Small, frequent meals will prevent you from feeling a sudden pang of hunger and eating more than what you desire or eating something that is readily available but unhealthy. Develop a consistent eating pattern and include more protein-rich foods so that you feel full. This works well for preventing late-night food cravings.
Stock the right foods in your kitchen:
Replace unhealthy food items with healthy snacks in your kitchen. It is best not to stock trigger foods. When you take away the option to eat unhealthy foods, you will end up eating healthy.
Don’t use unhealthy treats as rewards:
How many times have we promised ourselves a tempting but unhealthy food reward after completing a task? Replace that reward by self-care options, such as a soothing bath, massage, a walk or a fitness workout.
Often, when we have a food craving, it’s all we can think about, which makes it harder to ward off the craving. Distract yourself with constructive activities, such as reading, exercising or even indulging in routine work, and keep your mind off of the food temptations!
Know the consequences:
When you are craving something unhealthy like a sugary treat or an unhealthy snack, thinking rationally about the after-effects of eating the food can be useful. Remind yourself of those undesired health results you will have to face after eating it.
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