How To Beat Food Cravings
Are food cravings and emotional eating stopping you from getting the body you deserve? If so then hopefully this short article will really help you…
Sudden food cravings - the kind which come from nowhere then linger, nagging at you until you give in - are almost always emotional. How can you tell the difference between an emotional craving and a physical need for food? If you crave a specific food (especially if it’s a treat or comfort food), and nothing else will do - that’s emotional. If you’re really hungry and would happily eat a plain, healthy meal - you’re probably actually hungry.
The best way to avoid giving in to food cravings is to put a barrier between you and the food. In simple words… don’t buy it!
But if that’s impossible, try these top tips instead…
1. Change Your Situation
Food cravings can often be triggered by a certain time or place. For most of us, cravings are a habit. What triggers your cravings? Is it your sofa and TV? Your favourite coffee shop? Your car after you’ve dropped the kids at school? You get the idea. Identify the specific place that triggers your food craving, and get yourself out of it. Change your routine, get outside, move to a different room… that can be all it takes to side-step the habit trigger.
2. Distract Your Hands & Mind
Boredom and tiredness are strong triggers for an emotional food craving. So when you find yourself at a loose end, do something to prevent your mind wandering to food. It doesn’t have to be something taxing. How about a crossword or take the dog a walk? Or a small household chore like washing up, hoovering or tidying a room. Watching TV, scrolling through your phone, going online - these are all mindless activities which leave your mind wide open to thinking about food.
3. Drink Up
Hunger can often be thirst in disguise, so always have a drink of water before you give into a food craving. It will usually work. And if it doesn’t, well at least you’ll be hydrated! If water is too boring, try sugar free squash, a cup of tea, black coffee, or a fruit/herbal tea. Take your time drinking it and you will probably find the food craving passes by.
4. Spend Time In The Kitchen
This seems a strange thing to suggest - surely if you’re trying to avoid snacking, you should get out of the kitchen? Some people find that the simple act of preparing food can satisfy the urge to eat. Perhaps it’s the sights, sounds, and smells of food prep which satisfy your brain, even without eating? I don’t know the scientific answer. But I do know that - for some - chopping some vegetables, batch cooking some meals, or putting something in the slow cooker for later will crush food cravings.
Now if the above four tips still don’t work and you need to eat then your best option is a smart food choice, not the Mars Bar at the petrol station, because 100% you will feel crap after you eat it and you will regret it. If you’re sure that your craving isn’t masking boredom, loneliness, or another emotion then go and eat. In this situation, I will often recommend a whey protein shake to my clients, because if you’re going to go over on your daily calories then protein is your best option.
If you’re reading this and are confused about your nutrition, maybe you’re not sure if you’re eating enough food, or maybe the opposite you think you might be eating too much food then please get in contact today and myself and Rob would be happy to help guide you in the right direction.