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How To Stop Cravings: Banishing Unhealthy Snacking

How To Stop Cravings: Banishing Unhealthy Snacking


    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:

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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