Don’t you just hate how cravings creep up and ruin the diet that you have carefully sustained for what seems an eternity? When we crave for something, we know that giving in isn’t helpful to our weight loss goals. Sometimes we can hold our resolve and dismiss the urge but often the desire to indulge is just so intense that it overwhelms our drive to stick to our diet. There is nothing to worry about occasional cravings. But cravings that occur consistently can sabotage your plans to lose weight. If you want to know how to stop cravings this list I have put together below may prove helpful:

1. Understand why food cravings occur

The first step towards successfully controlling your cravings is understanding their nature. Depending on the person and the craving, food cravings can have a physical and/or psychological basis. Among the most common theories experts use to explain why cravings occur include:

  • The lack of certain nutrients
  • Low sugar levels in the blood
  • Hormonal shifts or changes
  • Emotions
  • Smells

Understanding what could possibly trigger cravings can greatly help you control them.

2. Remove temptations

If you are exposed to craving-inducing foods all the time, it is very likely that you will experience cravings from time to time. The exposure could well lead you to giving in to these cravings. So one crucial step in putting a stop to your cravings is cleaning out your kitchen of junk food. Go through your refrigerator and food pantry and get rid of chips, cakes, chocolates, cookies, ice cream and everything else that’s unhealthy. You will see that if you don’t keep any of these foods within reach, you won’t be craving or for them or if you’ll do your craving will pass unsatisfied protecting your waistline!

3. Get enough sleep

The amount of sleep you get at night has a lot to do with your cravings. Health experts say that when a person gets too little sleep, his metabolism slows down to save energy. That slowdown triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which in turn increases a person’s appetite and food cravings. To prevent cravings make sure to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.

4. Eat small frequent meals

As you must already know, cravings can be caused by drops in blood sugar levels. Recent studies have shown that the usual practice of eating three big meals a day is bound to create fluctuations in your sugar levels. The key to keeping your blood sugar levels steady is to eat small frequent meals. The conventional method of doing this type of eating plan is to have three meals a day, plus two or three snacks between meals. But experts say that it is best to eat more consistent amounts food throughout the day.

5. Find a healthy substitute

Of course you cannot totally eliminate cravings. No matter how much you try to eliminate them, there will be days when they’ll turn up and tempt you. So instead of doing the very difficult thing of totally ignoring the craving or giving in recklessly to it, you can try and find a healthy alternative. If you are craving for ice cream, you can opt to have  a light yogurt and some fruit instead. Or you’re craving salty chips, you can choose to grab some nuts. There are so many healthy alternatives to unhealthy food. You just need to look around or be creative.

If you are dieting or are trying to improve your overall health, being able to successfully battle your cravings is very important. Use the tips above to help keep those little desires for unhealthy snacks sabotage your weight loss goals.

(Photo credit: Woman kicking Junk Food Away via Shutterstock)

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