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In today’s post we will learn how to manage food cravings. Cravings start in your brain. Chemicals are released when you eat food, any food, good tasting or not. These chemicals and areas of the brain are the same as those involved in drug response and addiction. The chemicals are likely the same because we evolved to encourage healthy behaviours such as eating and reproduction. Here are a few steps in which you can manage cravings :
- Variety – Do not get in rut of eating the same things over and over, and try not to have patterns where you expose yourself to a lot of food availability, then a little, then a lot, then a little, etc.
- Don’t skip meals – Preferably eat 3 meals with snacks included. Don’t go longer than 5 hours between meals. Prolonged bouts of not eating results in low blood sugar and we compensate by overeating later.
- Don’t skip breakfast – Again, giving your body a stable supply of blood sugar first in the morning will attenuate hunger and reduce chance of overeating later in the day. S
- Eat protein, carbs, and fat at each meal or snack – Combining macronutrients will provide a steady supply of blood sugar and keep you fuller longer. (e.g. instead of eating an apple as a snack, eat it with peanut butter or a slice of low fat cheese)
- Drink water – Our body often confuses hunger with dehydration. Drink a glass with meals or in between meals and re-evaluate how hungry you think you are.
- Eat a small amount of the food you are craving – By trying to cut out a particularly craved food “cold turkey,” it can increase the desire to consume it and lead to over-indulging on it later. Try having a little bit of the craved food periodically and surround it with other healthy snacks such as fruit and vegetables.
- Tap your forehead – Some tips for getting through the craving are to tap your forehead. This may sound crazy but there is actually science behind this theory. When a craving comes on, place the five fingers of your hand on your forehead. Space them slightly apart and begin tapping each finger at intervals of a second. While you are doing this look upward and watch it. Before you know it, your craving will have disappeared.
- Sniff Mint – A study conducted at a university had subjects sniff peppermint throughout the day and those who did ate 2800 fewer calories per week than those who didn’t. The scent was hypothesized to disrupt the craving.
Hope this helps. Come back tomorrow for more inspiration.