Tips for Controlling Food Cravings
Most women, especially those who struggle with weight loss, set healthy eating goals. But what do you do when food cravings strike? When you get the irrepressible urge to eat a chocolate bar or down a packet of chips you can feel rather helpless. Most of us will go ahead and satisfy the craving, all the while telling ourselves that the next time we go to the gym we will work it all off, or that we will eat nothing but fruit and vegetables for the next few days.
Visiting your women’s fitness centre on a regular basis and living on a strict, healthy diet are effective ways of losing weight, but if you want to make sure that you are within healthy weight limits at all times it is important to find ways to fight food cravings. It is important to understand that cravings are not limited to some people – we all get them from time to time, but some of us are better at controlling our urges than others. With a little practice you can learn how to fight food cravings.
Why do we get food cravings?
Understanding how food cravings occur in the first place will help you the next time you get an urge to eat something that you shouldn’t. Cravings originate in the brain and they go back to early man. Back in the Stone Age early man needed 3 things to stay healthy – fats, sugar and salt. He would eat lots of fatty meat to get fat, sweet fruit to get some sugar and salty minerals to get salt. However, because these foods were not always available whenever he came across them he would eat them in large quantities – this was the brain’s way of “hoarding” for the long durations when these foods wouldn’t be available.
Today, although we have evolved these urges are still ever present in our brains. That is why starvation diets rarely work – when you starve your body the urge to binge will be hard to fight the next time you come across the foods that you have been missing. That is why many nutritional experts will tell you that one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight is to eat a balanced diet that contains a bit of healthy fats, a bit of sugar and a bit of salt.
Tips to help you control food cravings
- Stop going on extreme diets. If you are overweight it is likely that you eat too much sugar and are a fan of unhealthy fats. Extreme diets force you to stay away from all types of sweets and fats, and when you get off the diet odds are that you will binge eat – you will eat as much sugar and fat as possible because your brain is worried about the next time your body will be starved of these things. Instead of extreme diets you should go on healthy ones that encourage a balanced meal at least 3 times a day.
- If there are particular situations that lead to food cravings – such as stress and loneliness – it is best to stay away from them. Most women will not binge eat if they are busy doing things that they enjoy and love. If you find yourself feeling stressed you can make an appointment at your gym and distract yourself with some workouts.
- Substitute unhealthy cravings for healthy ones. If, for example, there is a particular kind of cake that you crave from your local bakery you can find a recipe that replaces unhealthy ingredients with healthy ones.
- Make sure that your “triggers” are nowhere near you. If, for example, chocolate is your weakness you should remove all chocolate bars from your kitchen, your handbags, your office and anywhere else.
Lastly, make sure that you keep your appointments at your local women’s fitness centre. Talk to your trainer about your cravings and binge eating – she may have some useful tips to share with you.