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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 13, 2018

    12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

    12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

    Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

    A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

    1. Eat Before Heading Out

    First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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    2. Select The Treats

    Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

    3. Avoid Skipping Meals

    Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

    4. Drink With Moderation

    It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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    5. Be Active

    You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

    6. Get Out Of The House

    Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

    7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

    Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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    8. Set Realistic Goals

    You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

    9. Enjoy Yourself

    Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

    10. Drink A Lot Of Water

    This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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    11. Eat Less And More Often

    Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

    12. Prioritize Your Workouts

    Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

    So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

    Happy Holidays everyone!

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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