Have you ever felt the intense desire to consume a specific food even though you are not feeling exactly hungry? If you have to give in frequently to such temptations, then you have “food cravings.” It’s especially not a good thing if you have cravings for unhealthy, high sodium, sugary food which fall under the “junk food” category. Not only would it put you at a risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other metabolic disorders, it would also lead to weight gain and obesity. In this post, we would detail out some tips to reduce cravings for junk food. With some planning and self control such carvings can be successfully controlled and stopped.
Cause of Food Cravings:
Following are the various causes of food cravings.
• Emotional causes like stress, depression, boredom etc.
• Hormonal imbalance
• Blood Sugar Imbalance
• Low Blood Sugar (Blood Glucose)
• Adrenal Fatigue
Tips to reduce food carvings:
1. Never skip breakfast: After the whole night starvation our body needs energy in the morning, so whatever we eat will be burned down and stored in the form of fat by our body. Our blood sugar levels will fall too low if we skip meals, which in turn will accelerate food cravings, overeating and even binges.
2. Eat in moderation>: Do not deprive yourselves from the pleasure of eating food but instead try to eat in moderation. Eat small meals six times a day as this helps to control blood sugar and helps our metabolism to burn calories at an efficient rate.
3. Increase the intake of high-fiber foods: High-fiber foods should be consumed especially at night. In case you want to reduce food carvings then your dinner should consist mainly of lean proteins and fibrous carbs like veggies, fruits, and salads. The fiber will keep you feeling full longer and reduce any cravings you may get before bedtime.
4. Reduce the intake of refined white flour: Heavily processed or high sugar foods like sodas, sweets, candy, cookies and cakes etc.
5. Avoid too much sugar or salt intake as they can make your cravings worse.
6. Reduce your intake of drinks that act as stimulants: Overconsumption of stimulants like sugar, caffeine, sodas etc should be avoided as they can cause fluctuations in blood sugar. In place of regular teas opt for herbal teas or diluted pure fruit juices.
7. Should avoid late night eating: Stop eating 2-3 hours before you go to bed. More than that and you’ll get too hungry – and you’ll be much more likely to give in to your cravings. Less than that and you won’t have enough time to burn the calories before you go to sleep.
8. Reduce your intake of packaged, processed food.
9. Exercise daily: Engage yourself in some form of physical activity. Exercise significantly improves mood by releasing endorphins into the bloodstream, and will definitely help you to control your urge to eat. Even 30 minutes of brisk walking is a good start to the exercise routine.
10. Drink lots of water: Dehydration confuses the body and will often make it feel hungry, especially if it’s cool out. A small glass of water each hour will not only keep you hydrated but will also keep your stomach full and reduce food cravings.
11. Find Healthy Replacements: If you love eating noodles, there’s a healthy alternative – try zucchini noodles which is healthy and delicious at the same time. Likewise, in this post, we have 50 Healthy Food Swaps for junk food that everyone should absolutely try.
12. Try Natural Appetite Suppressant Foods: These natural appetite suppressors will help you shed extra pounds in a healthy and natural way. It’s not advisable to pop in pills, whether it’s an appetite suppressor or a weight loss pill, and that’s why we are here to help you with a list of top 45 Foods to suppress appetite and reduce hunger.