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5 Tips to Stop Food Cravings

5 tips to stop food cravingsOne of the hardest parts of losing weight is learning how to stop food cravings. Exercise comes easy for most people, it’s the dieting that’s hard. Unfortunately, your diet is responsible for about 80% of your success. You can work out until you’re blue in the face, but if your diet isn’t planned out right, your dreams of that perfect body will always seem out of reach.

The mind is very powerful, and it can easily convince you to derail your diet. Changing your lifestyle is a true example of how you need to take control of your mind and body to be successful. If you let your mind control you, you will never reach your goals. Have you ever wondered why food is so addicting? It will affect your body and mind in ways you never thought possible.

Here is how you can overcome your food addiction.

So then, what are some ways that we can take back control of ourselves to keep us on the right track towards success? Here are 5 tips to stop food cravings that are not only helpful ideas for controlling cravings, but are actually necessary pieces to the dietary puzzle.

Eat Fiber

Eating fiber is one of the best ways to stop cravings. Fiber helps to fill up your stomach so that you have a feeling of being full. It also slows down digestion. This helps two-fold. First, it keeps food in your stomach longer. The longer food stays in your stomach, the less likely you are to want to eat again. And second, it slows down the release of glucose into the bloodstream. This is imperative in keeping your insulin hormone low so that fat can be released. Remember, when insulin is low, growth hormone (a powerful fat burning hormone) is released. The higher your growth hormone levels the better.

Read more about how you can naturally increase your growth hormone.

Here are 11 ways to get more fiber in your diet.

Get In Enough Nutrients

You have to make sure you are getting in all the necessary nutrients if you want to stop cravings, let alone be successful in losing weight. You could eat all the calories you want, but if you aren’t getting in enough of the proper nutrients, your body is going to continue to send you hunger signals until it gets what it needs.

Read more about why you should focus on the quality of your food before cutting calories.

Make sure you are getting in enough essential fatty acids (EFAs). These cannot be manufactured by the body, so it’s necessary to get these through your diet. If you don’t eat enough of them, your body will tell you to keep eating until you do. And believe me, your body will win every time. The same goes for vitamins and minerals. Focus on eating a nutrient dense diet filled with plenty of meat, fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and tubers. These foods are packed with vital nutrients, and will keep the hunger signals at bay.

Here are the benefits of essential fatty acids and examples of foods that contain them.

Here are 100 healthy foods to eat that are packed with nutrients and antioxidants.

Drink Water

Water is essential to life, and part of every chemical reaction in our bodies. Yet so many people are walking around in a semi-dehydrated state. Many times our body mistakes thirst for hunger. We end up eating food, when in reality we needed water. We can get it in two different ways. We can either drink it, or we can eat it. Our food is made up of a high percentage of water – at least whole foods are. However, many times just having a glass of water will make the hunger pains go away. If you are feeling the need to eat, but it’s not time for your next meal, try drinking a glass of water first. You might be surprised how much that helps.

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Eat More Calories

Not eating enough calories – probably one of the top reasons why diets fail. Eating too few calories is a sure way to make your brain tell your body to find food. Your body’s objective is to survive and maintain all the necessary bodily functions. It can’t do this when it isn’t getting enough energy (food) to fuel these functions. Make sure you are eating enough.

Rarely do you ever need to go below 10 times your body weight in calories. Bad things start to happen when you do. You either start losing a higher percentage of muscle compared to fat, or you fall off your diet altogether. Progress tends to stall, and then you find yourself asking that infamous question – why am I not losing weight?

Read more about how not eating enough calories can keep you from losing weight.

Here are 20 more reasons why you might not be losing weight.

Have a Cheat Meal

Did you know you can still eat what you want and be successful? The key is to plan your nutrition out in advance – especially the “bad” food. Cheat meals are a great way to support the psychological part of your journey. Having a cheat meal once in a while can be used as a source of motivation to eat healthy the rest of the time.

When you know that there isn’t absolute restriction in your nutrition, you are usually more willing to stay on track with it the rest of the time. One week is usually a nice time period that most people can make it through, and having a controlled cheat meal on the weekend helps you to enjoy life a little more -  especially in those difficult social situations. Be careful though – messing up your cheat meal can set your progress way back.

Read more about whether cheat meals are holding you back.

So there you have it. Use these 5 tips to help you stop food cravings, and keep you on the right track towards your fat loss goals. Remember, losing weight is a mental challenge, not just a physical one. Take control of your mind, and the weight loss will follow.

  • http://www.tsmethod.com/blog/ Mark

    Love the tips, I use some of them myself, especially the fiber one! Insoluble and most of all soluble fiber are an integral part of my TS Method approach.
    :-)
    Mark

  • Coach Calorie

    Thanks for the comment Mark. Any diet I’ve tried that was low in fiber resulted in increased cravings.

  • Lantana H.

    Another great article. I have been looking for a way to detox and I just emailed my friend your post because she is struggling with food cravings as well. I am going to follow your tips. I did not know that about essential fatty acids. I don’t think I get many at all, if any. I have a lot to learn!

    • Coach Calorie

      Thanks Lantana, let me know how they work out for you.

  • ria clarke

    this worked for me when I was pregnant
    keep blood sugar stable by eating several tiny meals or little snacks like a handful of nuts, a few raisins or a string cheese

    • Coach Calorie

      Eating several small meals is a great was to help stabilize blood sugar. Thanks for the comment Ria.

  • Jeannette Laframboise

    These are great tips that I really need to give a try. I have one weakness and one only and it is peanut butter cups…every time I eat one and it is way too often, I think about the fact that I shouldn’t. I already drink tons of water but I will give your other tips a try for sure instead of grabbing for the bad stuff. Can’t wait to see if I can turn away from my weakness…Thanks for a great post!

    • Coach Calorie

      Good luck Jeannette. The physical aspects of cravings can be taken care of, but the psychological aspects can be hard to manage. It’s certainly possible though!

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  • http://brokenwon.blogspot.com Wendy T

    Useful info, especially the last piece.

    It resonates with me as I think back to when I was quitting smoking. Some people thought I was crazy to not throw out my cigarettes when I quit. It was a mental thing. I needed to know they were available to me, that I could make the choice to smoke at any time. That gave me the control – rather than telling me I can’t. And from the time we’re two, we don’t like to be told we can’t.

    So I think the cheat meal is going to be a valuable piece of this puzzle. I won’t tell myself I can’t eat. I’ll just tell myself I have to wait until Saturday to eat that. Framed that way, it sounds much more manageable.

    • Coach Calorie

      You’re right Wendy. It’s a whole different feeling quitting something when you know you could have it, than trying to quit when you know you can’t.

  • Donna B.

    Thanks for posting this. I struggle with getting enough nutrients, and actually getting enough calories. I notice if I don’t pay attention to my eating and let these go, then my cravings skyrocket. Thanks for another great article!! :)

  • Christine L

    I can say from personal experience that diet causes me to lose weight or gain it. I have that kind of metabolism that I don’t even need to exercise if I cut out calories. But now I am just too lazy to even do that; I have fallen into a bad habit of junk food and bingeing on whatever is in the house. My goal is to start working out once I can pull the nordic trac out of the garage.

  • Deb Dorrington

    This article was written for me..lol I do drink the water and eat Fiber…what I was interested in reading was the cheat meal and your ideas about it…thank you for this as the cravings were getting to me..especially french fries!

  • Donna B.

    I also found that having small, regular meals and making sure I have a well-balanced breakfast within an hour of waking up helps lessen my food cravings.

  • http://adventuresofsasha.blogspot.com Sasha W

    I didn’t realize that those things affect cravings so I will try those tips out. I was surprised about eating more calories but it makes sense. Great article!

  • Sarah L

    Sometimes when I feel hungry I just fill my mouth with a glass of water. I have fries about every 2 months just cause I like them.