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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 March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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