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Quit Food Cravings And Gain Control Of Your Life In 9 Easy Steps

Quit Food Cravings And Gain Control Of Your Life In 9 Easy Steps

Do you have a hard time saying no to chocolate?

Is pizza your weakness? Do you always find yourself grabbing a handful of chips at work?

Time for your favorite TV show, so it’s time to get some dessert?

Maybe you just have a sweet tooth that constantly craves sugar.

If one of these scenarios describes you…welcome to the food cravings club.

These cravings are intense, persistent, and challenging. Cravings affect everyone and make sticking with diets 100x more difficult.

To quit having food cravings requires discipline and focus. While it’s no walk in the park, managing food cravings is possible. Try these 9 methods to get a handle on your cravings once and for all.

1. Work on reducing your stress

Stress can make us all go crazy. No one is excluded. Stress is a part of our daily lives and routines, and plays a vital role in our health due to its involvement with cortisol. How you handle stress is what’s key.

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Cortisol (a stress hormone) causes food cravings when elevated which leads to emotional eating. Leaving your diet up to how you feel is often a reason for failing with your diet.

To get a handle on how to deal with your stressors, you need to understand where it’s coming from. Identify your stress triggers that drive you insane and ultimately lead to binge eating. Start a daily journal and be honest with yourself.

2. Eat mindfully

Mindfulness is the art of applying focused attention on the present moment. There’s been evidence that supports mindful eating can help reduce portion sizes, help with weight loss, and help control your blood sugar levels.

Slow down with your eating. This isn’t a race. Stop multitasking and eating on the go. Eating mindfully will lower your chances of over eating, improve your digestion, and bring more enjoyment from your foods.

3. Get plenty of shut eye

Go to sleep. This is a pretty simple idea, yet it’s neglected by many who tell themselves they aren’t like everyone else who needs 7hrs nightly.

You’re not an exception. Get to bed.

Studies have shown that not getting enough shut eye leads to extra layers added on to your body(fat) and results in making poor food choices(hello binge eating).

4. Stock your kitchen with healthier options

This seems like common sense. Rights? Not exactly. Far too often, people will have leftover treats, soda, or cookies in the kitchen.

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If you have it in the house, you will eventually eat it.

quit food cravings

     Don’t even chance it by having these in the kitchen.

    Using willpower to resist all temptations will only last for so long. Eventually you fall to seduction.

    It’s hard to lose weight when your kitchen is stocked with chips, Special K, and frosted flakes. Dump that junk and opt for whole foods and lean meats with all your meals.

    Your body and mind will thank you later.

    5. Stay hydrated

    Often times, we make the mistake of confusing food cravings for dehydration. Dehydration disguises and pops up as food cravings tricking you into poor food decisions.

    Before reaching in the snack jar, drink a glass or two of water and see if these cravings don’t disappear.

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    6. Eat a well-balanced and satisfying diet

    We live in a snacking society. Whatever happened to eating complete meals?

    What’s going to be more satisfying and satiating?

    That fresh bagel you get every morning on the way to work because you’re in a rush (ahem…lazy).

    Or:

    That breakfast you’ll eat at home because you woke up 20 minutes earlier which consist of eggs and fruit.

    The meal at home clearly wins.

    Bagels = simple carb with nothing else. Eggs + fruit = protein, carbs, and healthy fats leading to longer satiation, more nutrients, and less food cravings.

    7. Find satisfaction in something else besides food

    Do something, anything besides mindlessly eating.

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    Boredom shouldn’t mean you have the green light to eat whatever you want. If you aren’t hungry, why eat at all?

    Is it movie night? That doesn’t mean you curl up in a blanket and dive into a tub of Ben & Jerry’s (though delicious).

    Find other hobbies that make you feel complete and engaged just as eating would. Take your mind off food and boredom by reading, catching up with a friend, or go for a walk(exercise is awesome).

    8. Control the sugar surges

    Carbs are awesome and essential for proper functioning. However, choosing specific carb sources goes a long way in helping you control food cravings.

    Sugary foods and drinks (yes, even those bagels and loaded Frappuccino’s) are known to cause huge insulin spikes and then huge drops that affect our brain. Areas of our brain involved in cravings and hunger are stimulated in a way that could cause overeating and emotional food decisions.

    When it comes to keeping the urges at bay, stick to sweet potatoes, rice, and other slower digesting carbs.

    9. Allow some wiggle room into your diet

    You shouldn’t expect yourself to eat ‘perfectly’ 24/7 nor should you try to. Losing fat and staying in control of your life doesn’t mean you need to head into dietary prison.

    Successful and healthy sustainable diets need a positive mentality. Mindset is just as important as calories and exercise. Enjoy that cheesecake and pizza from time to time(guilt free of course!).

    What other ways do you use to keep food cravings at bay?

    More by this author

    Julian Hayes II

    Author, Health & Fitness Coach for Entrepreneurs, & Speaker

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    Last Updated on January 17, 2019

    8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

    8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

    In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

    Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

    Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

    Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

    Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

    The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

    There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

    How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

    According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

    Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

    Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

    The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

    Listen carefully:

    We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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    The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

    Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

    8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

    There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

    Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

    1. Pray Daily

    You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

    When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

    Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

    Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

    2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

    A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

    By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

    Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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    If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

    This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

    How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

    3. Smile Often

    Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

    Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

    Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

    The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

    4. Organize Your Working Desk

    A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

    When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

    Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

    Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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    5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

    I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

    Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

    What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

    6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

    God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

    I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

    I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

    7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

    You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

    How do you do that? This is my formula:

    First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

    If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

    If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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    If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

    Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

    8. Go Exercise

    Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

    The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

    You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

    12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

    The Bottom Line

    It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

    It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

    Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

    More Resources About Mindfulness

    Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

    Reference

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