Controlling Your Appetite: Why Can’t I Beat My Food Cravings?


Ahh… food cravings! They’re great for deciding what you want to eat or buy at the grocery store, but not so much when it comes to weight management – at least most of the time!

When embarking on the weight management journey, one of the things you’ll likely make changes to is your fitness and eating regimen. Although moderation really is key to any diet or nutrition plan, sometimes an innocent food craving can leave you spinning out of control. If you’re not strategic, a tasty, sugary snack here and there could lead to an entire binge on less-than-healthy food items. When that happens, it can be difficult to break out of the “eat, repent, repeat” cycle.

The Science behind Food Cravings

First, let’s talk about why this happens. Cravings are a normal part of our body’s response to food because many food items are highly addictive. In fact, our desire for high-calorie treats can be traced back to our early ancestors. When food was scarce, we craved nutrients that were needed to sustain our bodies long-term.

As a result, our brains now reinforce and reward this way of eating. They release powerful chemicals that make us feel pleasure and motivate us to continue eating those foods which satisfy us emotionally and physically. It’s hard to beat something as SMART as our brain!

Tips for Fighting-off Food Cravings

However, just because your brain is a powerful control center, that doesn’t mean you’re hopeless when it comes to fighting off food cravings. There are a number of things you can do to curb your appetite and reach for healthier items instead:

Manage Stress Appropriately

Many people reach for junk food when they’re stressed as a way to feel better emotionally and keep occupied. Stress can also signal certain parts of the brain to release chemicals and trigger cravings for fat and sugar.

When you’re stressed, try looking to alternative activities instead such as exercise, arts and crafts, meditation or socialization. These are much healthier forms of stress-relief that can also help you with weight management.

Eat a Wide Variety of Foods

Clean eating is hard for some people because they don’t know what to consume beyond salads and grilled chicken. The truth is that eating a variety of different foods in different forms can keep things fresh and exciting, which may help eliminate cravings for less-than-healthy foods.

Be Mindful of Your Feelings

You may consider keeping a food journal to keep track of your emotions and cravings. This will help you stay present in the moment and reflect on how your mind and body feel. Consequently, you may notice that it becomes easier to identify your cravings and pinpoint why they’re happening. When you’ve identified the reason, you can find a healthier solution.

Clean-out Your Kitchen

If you’re aware of the bag of chips sitting in the pantry, you’re more likely to indulge when a craving happens. Try going through your kitchen and tossing out the foods which aren’t helpful to your diet or nutrition plan. Then, take a trip to the grocery store and stock-up on lean proteins, fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy and healthy snacks.

Looking for Additional Tips to Master those Cravings?

For more information, resources and tips, please CLICK HERE.

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