We all experience cravings occasionally for some of our favorite food items. If you think that you are the only one who is unable to control these cravings, you are not an exception. The key to combatting these cravings is to know their source. Most of the time the reason is psychological.
Instead of going into scientific jargon, let’s just say that our brain associates certain foods with rewards. As the brain senses pleasure when we eat a specific food, it constantly sends reminders of it and hence, we develop sudden cravings. These reminders come when the body is deficient in some important nutrients.
FACTS ABOUT FOOD CRAVINGS
Emotions and desires also play a role in cravings. When we are anxious or under stress, we feel the desire to eat foods rich in fat and sugar to calm ourselves and satisfy our emotional needs. This helps in blocking pleasure-sensing opiate-receptors and deters the release of stress hormones.
However, if you think that giving in to these temptations can make them go away, you are mistaken.
SOLUTIONS FOR DEALING WITH FOOD CRAVINGS
The right way to deal with cravings is to find out which nutrient is missing and provide it to the body in a healthy form. I have highlighted 5 Craving Kicking Tips & Tricks to help you fight these urges successfully. Use these tips and tricks to kick away those pesky little cravings by finding out the nutrients that your body is lacking in.
CRAVING KICKER # 1
Drink More Water
Always keep a bottle of water by your side as it is a handy way to curb cravings. Water immediately fills up the stomach so that the sensation of hunger disappears. Whenever you start having cravings, just drink 16 oz of water to get rid of the urges. Drinking water before and after meals can also help in eating less and avoiding hunger crashes which compel you to reach for instant sources of sugar. It keeps the body hydrated as well. So grab a bottle right away!
CRAVING KICKER # 2
Yes. You read it right. Taking long gaps between meals can increase the frequency of cravings. Generally, cravings occur late at night, in the middle of morning or afternoon when there is a lot of delay in taking the next meal. The body gives indications that it needs food through cravings. However, this does not mean that you should snack on whatever you can lay your hands on, especially junk food. It is important to eat right. Here are some healthy options that you can choose from:
->> Fruit and Cheese
An apple, banana or grapefruit can be taken with 5 to 8 grams of cheese. The fruit provides fiber and has a filling effect on the stomach whereas the cheese provides calcium.
->> Granola Bars
These are very convenient to eat and pack a punch in terms of nutrients. Opt for bars which contain the least amount of added sugar and are stuffed with nuts, fruits and egg. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants and minerals.
Slice an avocado and mix it with a salad or eat it raw with some spices. It is super filling, nutritious and contains 220 healthy calories. Avocado is rich in vitamin C and B6, potassium and fiber.
CRAVING KICKER # 3
Increase Protein Intake
According to a study conducted on teenagers, it has been found that sixty percent of them skip breakfast frequently. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and if it is avoided, craving attacks become regular. It also hinders cognitive ability. A high-protein breakfast is a must to reduce appetite and unwanted urges during the day. Items like peanut butter, nuts, yoghurt, milk, cereals, eggs, bacon, kale and salmon can help in preventing unhealthy snacking and overeating.
CRAVING KICKER # 4
Take Ginger In Some Form
This is a very effective method to reduce cravings according to a scientific observation. People who consume ginger tea regularly are less likely to feel hungry between meals even if the gap is long. Ginger increases the sensation of fullness and improves metabolism. Sliced ginger can be added to salads or fresh juices to serve the same purpose.
CRAVING KICKER # 5
Plan Your Meals
If you go without food for more than 5 hours at a stretch, the blood sugar level in the body starts dipping and cravings begin. In such circumstances, you crave foods which are rich in calories and give instant but artificial energy. To avoid this scenario, it is important to plan your meals. Create a diet plan and stick to it by eating meals regularly and at a fixed time. Include some form of protein like eggs, lean meat or fish in your diet to stimulate the secretion of cholecystokinin, an appetite-suppressing hormone.
SOME COMMON Food CRAVINGS AND WAYS TO DEAL WITH THEM
CRAVING # 1: Chocolate
WHAT YOUR BODY IS MISSING: Magnesium
TOP HEALTHY SUBSTITUTES: Raw Nuts, Fruits, Legumes
CRAVING # 2: Oily Snacks
WHAT YOUR BODY IS MISSING: Calcium
TOP HEALTHY SUBSTITUTES: Kale, Broccoli, Sesame
CRAVING # 3: Carbonated Drinks and Sugary Foods
WHAT YOUR BODY IS MISSING: Phosphorous, Sulphur, Carbon, Tryptophan
TOP HEALTHY SUBSTITUTES: Chicken, Cheese, Nuts, Cranberries, Spinach, Fresh Fruits
CRAVING # 4: Bread, Pasta & Other Carbs
WHAT YOUR BODY IS MISSING: Nitrogen
TOP HEALTHY SUBSTITUTES: Beans, Nuts, Fish, Meat
CRAVING # 5: Salty Foods
WHAT YOUR BODY IS MISSING: Chloride
TOP HEALTHY SUBSTITUTES: Fish, Raw Goat Milk, Cashews
CRAVING # 6: Acid Foods
WHAT YOUR BODY IS MISSING: Magnesium
TOP HEALTHY SUBSTITUTES: Fresh Fruits, Legumes, Nuts and Seeds
Follow these Tips & Tricks to get rid of cravings forever. Change over to a healthier lifestyle and lose weight with this handy Cravings Kicker Cheat Sheet.