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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 December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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