Food cravings got you down? Feel as though no matter how hard you try and stick with your diet plan, your cravings constantly get in the way?
Everyone deals with food cravings from time to time. The unfortunate truth however is that some people deal with these far more than others.
If you aren’t careful and learn how to get these food cravings under control, they could essentially cause you to detour off your diet plan completely.
The good news is with a few tried and true tricks, you can put these food cravings behind you.
Here are 7 effective hacks to curb your food cravings.
1. Check Your Meal Frequency
If you are experiencing food cravings multiple times a day, every day, you’ll want to check your meal frequency. Are you eating enough in the morning hours? Are you eating a good-sized lunch?
If you don’t eat much food until dinner, this could be the exact reason you’re experiencing the food cravings like you are.
Focus on eating more for breakfast and lunch and that may help you put these cravings aside. If you let yourself get too hungry, your body will produce these cravings to try and prompt you to eat. What’s worse is that if you do finally give in, you’ll have lost almost all control over your food consumption.
2. Assess Your Total Calorie Balance
In addition to looking at your meal frequency, you’ll also want to take a closer look at your total calorie balance. If you aren’t eating enough food throughout the day, that too can also spark food cravings.
While it’s definitely understandable that you’ll need to be on a reduced calorie diet plan to see weight loss results, remember that going lower and lower with your calories is not always better.
Focus on a moderate calorie deficit if you are suffering from severe food cravings and you might just find that clears up the problem.
3. Start Hydrating
Lack of hydration is another factor that can lead to food cravings if you aren’t careful. Often, when you want something to eat, what you really just need is something to drink instead.
Try this trick. Next time you experience a food craving, drink a tall glass of ice cold water. Then wait ten minutes. Is your food craving still there?
Often you’ll find that once this time has passed, your mind has moved on and the craving is gone.
4. Chew Peppermint Gum
Another good way to combat cravings is to chew a piece of peppermint gum. This works in two different ways. First, it gives you something to chew on. sometimes, it’s not an actual food craving you’re experiencing, but rather, you just want to be eating something. The gum can help provide a solution.
Second, peppermint in itself has shown to help suppress appetite and reduce food cravings, so you’ll get that benefit as well.
Just as you wouldn’t eat a food you crave right after you brush your teeth (as the two flavors do not mix well), you’ll find that as you chew the gum, the desire for that food begins to lessen.
5. Think Up Smart Substitutes
If it’s one specific food craving that you are constantly fighting throughout the day, it might just be time to think up some smart substitutes. For instance, if you are craving pizza, consider preparing your own healthier variety by smearing a toasted English muffin with some tomato sauce and oregano and then laying on top some veggies, chicken, and some low fat cheese. Place it under the broiler and you’ll have your own home made variety of pizza all ready. While it may not taste exactly like the real thing, it’ll still be quite close and will help take that craving away.
Likewise, if it’s ice cream you crave, try topping some plain low fat Greek yogurt with some fresh berries, slivered almonds, and a few dark chocolate pieces. Again, it won’t be totally the same as some creamy soft serve ice cream, but it will be close enough that it should help you manage the craving.
6. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
One thing that you may want to think about and possibly avoid is using too many artificial sweeteners. While you may think that you are doing a good thing adding these to your diet as then you can eat sweet tasting foods without the calories and sugar, the problem is that by doing so, you could be doing more harm than good.
When you are eating plenty of these artificial sweeteners, you are keeping that ‘sweet taste’ in your mouth. So in essence, you are going to continue to want to have more and more of those sweet tasting foods, thus keeping the cravings in place.
If you instead avoid all things sweet (other than naturally sweet foods like fruit), you’ll be able to stamp out your desire for sweet tasting foods better, thus getting past the craving once and for all.
Plus, many artificial sweeteners come with unwanted side effects so by cutting them out of your plan, you may just be able to side-step those as well.
7. Plan A Cheat Meal
If you don’t already plan to have cheat meals in your diet, this is something that you’ll definitely want to consider. A well timed cheat meal can work great to help keep you on track and combat food cravings so that you can stick to your diet the rest of the time.
The trick with cheat meals is planning them well in advance and being able to get right back on the diet plan once they are done. If you let the cheat meal turn into a cheat week, then you are going to have problems.
Instead, plan out a cheat meal, enjoy it, and then get right back on track. This can help to boost your metabolism in the short term so that cheat meal could actually do the trick to keep you seeing ongoing success with your weight loss plan.
It’s one of the best strategies to help combat a progress plateau.
There you have seven great tips that you can use to help combat food cravings and better stick to your diet plan. Be sure that you are making use of whichever one of these you feel will work best in your plan and lifestyle and you will be on to seeing the success that you desire.