Cravings, evil cravings that torture your mind and make your stomach rumble! I’m pretty sure most people suffer with cravings during weight loss and this is why I’m writing this blog to share my top 10 tips to keep those cravings at bay!
Cravings can be dangerous if not controlled; they can produce a powerful desire to indulge beyond control into favourite food temptations ruining weight loss progress, motivation and drive. And for some, can leave feeling guilty and miserable as this certainly was the case with me.
Cravings can be triggered by stress, emotional heartache, an embarrassing public display resorting to comfort eating and of course boredom. Despite this just have a look at all the successful weight stories on our Wall of Warriors and myself. I can’t speak for those but I’m pretty sure they all battled their own cravings in their own way and came out victorious.
Cravings can be beat, we have proven this and now here are my top 10 tips from my experience on how to kick cravings to the kerb so you can go to sleep every night feeling proud and wake up knowing you’re another day closer to reaching your weight loss goal.
Never attempt to go at this head on without a plan. We all know our urges and we can make every effort to avoid temptation and be prepared for when those craving come knocking. Don’t stock up on any foods you crave and chuck out/give away what you have left. Replace with a healthy alternative. For example if you crave sugar, have an apple instead of some sugary sweets and if you are desperate for some fizzy pop, go for the diet kind.
Avoid window shopping! Don’t even have a glimpse in that Greggs window at those fresh made bakeries and as for smells, the smell of that fish n chip shop is not nice at all despite what your stomach is trying to say, it only smells of weight gain and regret. Try thinking like this and remember the sense of well being you will feel after turning down temptation. Remember this temptation fuelled by cravings is why weight loss is needed in the first place.
Waiting in line at the supermarket with all those chocolate bars and flapjacks staring at you screaming “eat me” like evil demons? How about all those cakes pointing at your face in your local coffee house while you cue up to be served? It takes will power to say no but you will thank yourself once you have made it out without giving in to temptation. Just remember you only need to cue for a short while and when you make it out a big sigh of relief can be released. Victory over the sugar devil will be yours!
Get to bed! No I’m not your parent telling you off, this is a great tip. Steven shea, PhD from Oregon Health and Sciences University states: “Your food urges peak at 8pm and stay high until midnight. Basically, the later you stay up, the more food you’re likely to eat”.
I can back this guy up from personal experience on this one! Until you build up will power and you’re in the flow (or cruising as I like to say) with restricted calories, try sleeping those cravings of. The longer you’re awake, obviously the more hungry you will become. Also take note that not enough sleep can actually trigger the hormones linked to hunger.
Have a nibble! Seriously I use to do this if my family ordered a take away and I had to sit with them. The smell and vision of them gorging on food was tough but this actually made me stronger as sometimes I would take just a little nibble or a small bite of their food and really take in the feeling and taste. For me this felt like; ok then, I have smelt it, felt it in my mouth and remember what it tastes like. Right, job done! I remember now what this taste feels like and now I think I would rather sit here and lose weight thank you very much!
A small bite or a nibble can be enough to satisfy the mental desire.
Cravings eventually pass. Honestly give it an hour or so and occupy your mind with something like TV, reading or even play a game (exercise???). You will have forgotten all about those cravings and when you do it’s a simple case of the moment has now passed. Another cravings victory!
Eat food that leaves you feeling fuller for longer. A simple and highly effected method I still use to this day. In my opinion a diet of low G.I carbohydrates or high fat/protein meals leaves me feeling much fuller for longer. For example my breakfasts include eggs or oats for the reasons they fill me up and I feel satisfied. As much as I love a bowl of granola or any sweet food high in sugar I only ever end up craving more. Take a cookie for example, around 100 calories and compare to 100 calories of whole nuts. The nuts will satisfy me but hell, try having just the one 1 cookie! I think you get my point...... (Never unleash the cookie monster on a diet!!).
Liquids!! Yep drink plenty of water with every meal to help you feel full and try a nice hot drink after a meal, even a coffee. This takes time to drink and in that time it will allow for your food consumed to settle and the feeling of being satisfied and full (your stomach signalling to your brain which takes around 20 minutes ) to take place. Take your time eating, enjoy and savour the taste. Allow 20 minutes after you have eaten to feel full before rushing to the fridge for extras.
Save it for a cheat meal!! Everyone is entitled to a cheat meal at least once a week in my opinion and by making a note of your craving you can save this for your cheat meal and gives you something to look forward too as a reward for your dedication. This also keeps your cheat meal varied as all weird cravings arise during a diet phase, especially in my case leaving many people questioning if I was pregnant or just strange.
Appetite suppression! I’ll let you in on a little secret so to say of mine I discovered during my weight loss journey. Along with dedication and will power, there are herbal supplements out there that can suppress that hunger feeling and those cravings without resorting to drugs.
For me these herbal supplements played a big part with sticking to my diet. So much so I rarely strayed away and cheated during the whole 18 months it took to lose weight. My strength played a major part but I knew I had my secret weapons which I researched online and put into my own craving busting formula.
These are my top 10 tips at keeping hunger, cravings and all things horrible at bay during my weight loss journey and in fact, still use to this day. These tips will only help as long as commitment and dedication to a plan/routine for weight loss is maintained throughout.
As for the formula, keep an eye out as my most valuable tip will be available very soon. Stay connected guys and share your opinions, your input is just as important as mine. Tips, views or even disagree? Let’s hear it.
The Weight Loss Warrior