How to Stop Unbearable Cravings Before They Strike
Everyone has their own list of favorite foods, and the foods that they absolutely can’t resist. And when cravings strike for the flavors that make you feel good, it could be extremely difficult to stop unbearable cravings and stop yourself from indulging. We’ve all been there.
Unfortunately, most people don’t often crave healthy foods like apples and spinach. Instead, they typically crave unhealthy foods, like salty chips, fried foods, or sweet treats. That’s why it’s a great idea to find ways of preventing your cravings before they occur.
Why is it so important to stop unbearable cravings before they even strike? Well, it reduces the odds of you giving in to those cravings, but it also helps you stay on your weight loss and fitness track. When you are able to stop unbearable cravings from controlling you every day, you could more easily follow the healthy diet that you know is right for you, and you could keep your calorie intake and fat intake in check, while also reducing your intake of ingredients, such as sugar and artificial additives, that aren’t good for you.
Here are a few tips to help get you started.
Ways to Stop Unbearable Cravings:
Try to Reduce Your Stress
Stress has some intense effects upon your mind and your body, and you don’t always realize the damage that it can do or the effects that it can have on your daily behaviors. We know that it is usually easier said than done, but getting your stress level under control might be just what you need to stop unbearable cravings before they strike.
Here’s how stress contributes to food cravings:
1. You feel like you are under loads of pressure, so your body ends up releasing cortisol.
2. Cortisol is a hormone that tells your brain that it’s a good idea to search for rewards to make yourself feel better.
3. A lot of people feel better when they eat comfort foods that are packed with fat and sugar. Once you consume those foods, you start to feel better because their ingredients could help stop the effects of cortisol on your emotions.
4. Every time that you feel frazzled and you reach for comfort food to relieve negative emotions, such as depression or rage, your brain realizes that there is a connection between feeling good and eating those foods. So you start to get yourself into a vicious cycle. In other words, you are basically conditioning yourself to need unhealthy comfort foods to feel emotionally stable.
Here’s how you can stop unbearable cravings when you are stressed:
Just because your brain has developed an association between feeling good and eating unhealthy foods certainly doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Instead, you can reprogram your brain and stop unbearable cravings when you are under pressure. Try the following strategies and see which ones work best for you.
• One of the things that you can do is simply wait out the craving. It’s true! Just be patient, focus on your willpower, and wait a little while without grabbing that doughnut or bag of chips. Before you know it, your craving will wane and disappear.
• Try doing something that distracts you and makes you feel good, such as listening to upbeat music that gets you moving, going for a walk to get some fresh air, exercising, calling a friend for a quick chat, or maybe even sitting down and meditating. Whatever helps you relieve stress, focus on that for a few minutes, as your mind might forget about the food cravings.
Get Some More Sleep
Did you know that getting more sleep could help you lose more weight? Beyond that, though, getting enough shut-eye every night could also help you stop unbearable cravings and keep your appetite under control.
Here’s what you need to know about the connection between lack of sleep and being unable to stop unbearable cravings:
• When you don’t get enough sleep and you feel tired during the day, you could end up consuming upwards of 400 extra calories because you end up feeling hungrier, or you might think that eating more will help give you the energy to get through the day.
• When you are tired and you need to get a much-needed boost of energy, you might end up reaching for a quick-fix snack, such as starchy foods or sugary options.
• When you don’t get enough sleep at night, levels of leptin (the hormone that tells your body that you feel full and satisfied) drop. And the longer that you go without sleeping enough, the worse the effects could become. For example, if you go a few nights without sleeping well, leptin could drop by around 18%. At the same time, though, the levels of the hormone ghrelin (which triggers your appetite) could increase by around 30%. When these hormones are imbalanced in this manner, it becomes increasingly difficult to stop unbearable cravings for unhealthy foods.
Here’s what you can do when a lack of sleep is making it hard to stop unbearable cravings:
Try the following strategies if you think that your lack of sleep is contributing to your cravings during the day:
1. Skip the sugary foods and have a caffeinated beverage instead. The caffeine could give you a much-needed pick-me-up without the calorie load, especially if you enjoy it without all of the cream and sugar. As a short-term fix during the day, this could be a way for you to reduce your calorie intake, and it might help stop unbearable cravings.
2. Try to schedule in just a single hour of extra sleep by going to bed earlier at night. This could help boost your leptin level, thereby helping to reduce your appetite the next day.
3. Can’t help but eat something? Control your portions by only taking a small amount and putting the rest away. So, for example, if you are craving potato chips, take a handful out and then put the bag away so you won’t end up sitting there and eating the whole bag.
4. Take a weight loss supplement that could help you feel more energized and that could help reduce your cravings. Prescriptions like Adipex pills are popular, but there are also many over-the-counter products that you can try as well. You may want to talk to your doctor before adding a new supplement to your daily diet, though, just to be sure that it will be safe to take and right for your specific needs.
Eat Enough Calories
Another way to stop unbearable cravings is to eat enough calories every day. This may sound counterintuitive at first, but the truth is that, if you are not eating enough, you could be triggering those unhealthy cravings that you can’t control.
Here’s how calorie deficiencies could make it hard to stop unbearable cravings:
• Researchers have found that individuals who severely restrict their calorie intake to under 1,000 calories per day, and those who eliminate entire food groups, are more likely to find it hard to stop unbearable cravings.
• Following a strict diet for a mere three days could cause leptin to decrease by more than 20%, leading to greater feelings of hunger.
• When you cut out carbohydrates from your diet, even if it’s only for about three days, your food cravings could become stronger and you could end up eating way more calories than you should because you can’t stop unbearable cravings as easily.
Here’s how to stop unbearable cravings when you’re trying to lose weight:
1. There’s no need to eliminate entire food groups to lose weight, as that could lead to binge eating. Instead, have the foods that you like, but focus on portion control.
2. Calculate the ideal number of calories that you should be consuming daily for optimal health and energy, and don’t restrict yourself severely. Instead, focus on eating healthy foods that are low in fat, and exercise regularly to burn extra calories.
Hopefully, the tips above will help you stop unbearable cravings so that you can focus on eating right and getting in shape. It might take some practice, but having an understanding of how cravings start and how to stop them will help you win.