Get Your Cravings Under Control

Growl… Once again your stomach is screaming, begging for food. You’re trying to lose weight but feel it’s a losing battle because you’re hungry all the time. Since beginning your diet, your appetite seems bigger than ever. 

Saying no to food is so hard when your stomach and mind are saying yes. For most, not eating certain foods isn’t easy. The road to weight loss mean adopting new ways of controlling your appetite by training your body and mind to overcome cravings and learning to eat foods that fill you up so you don’t feel hungry all the time. 

Starting today, try the following advice to eat more of the right foods and less of the wrong.

Avoid Temptations 

If you know you’ll have a hard time not eating your favorite kind of cookies, don’t let them in the house. Even if your kids love them, you’ll do your whole family a favor by not putting them in the shopping cart. 

Or maybe it’s your favorite restaurant. You know if you eat there, it would be torture not to order your favorite pasta dripping with white sauce and cheese. So choose a different restaurant with healthy, low calorie options. 

Don’t set yourself up for failure by placing temptations on the table in front of you. Ask your spouse and kids to be sensitive to your weaknesses. 

Manage Stress 

For many, overeating and indulging cravings are the result of stress or anxiety. Anxiety over the fight you had with your mom, stress from a long day at work, or the hopeless feelings you have about weight loss can all lead you to eat. Food becomes a way to satisfy your hunger and your emotions—but don’t let it! Learning to manage stress in healthy ways could save you hundreds of calories and several inches on your waist. Try deep breathing exercises, physical exercise, or just relaxing in a hot bath.

Drink More Water 

Feel the urge to eat but aren’t sure you’re truly hungry? Sip on water. Zero calories and so good for you, drinking water can keep your mouth busy when it wants to eat and help you feel full longer. Keep a water bottle with you all day and refill as necessary. When you think you may be hungry, drink some water and wait half an hour. If you’re still hungry, go ahead a have a small snack. 

Get Moving 

Need a healthy distraction from your food cravings and never-ending appetite? Go for a run. It may sound strange, but in addition to improving your health and burning calories, exercise increases the production of endorphins that suppress your appetite for a short time afterwards. You will find that regular exercise may make you hungrier than usual, but this is good, as it’s proof that your metabolism is growing. Just make sure you have healthy foods on hand to fill you up. 

Eat These Foods 

High-fiber foods and foods rich in protein will help fill your stomach and keep you feeling fuller for longer periods of time. Wonder why your tummy’s growling an hour after eating a bagel for breakfast? Refined white carbs provide quick energy, but don’t stick around for long. Whole grains, bran, fruits, and veggies take your body longer to digest, so fill up on them. 

High-protein foods also help curb cravings and control your appetite. Eat a source of protein at each meal or snack (meats, poultry, dairy, legumes, nuts, or eggs). 

Know When You’re Full 

When you feel like you can hardly move after a meal, you’ve eaten too much. Your goal at mealtime is to finish feeling satisfied and comfortable. Eat slowly by chewing each bite 10 to 15 times. While you may wish you were eating fried chicken and dumplings rather than lean chicken and green salad, be thankful and savor each bite. 

Before reaching for second helpings, wait at least 10 minutes to see if you’re still hungry. You can also eat less by keeping bowls of food off the table. This way, the effort to get second helpings may deter you from getting extras.