One minute you’re innocently going about doing your routine work, the next minute you know you are relentlessly searching for that mud cake that was kept in the refrigerator. What really happened? You were taken over by the demons of food cravings that make losing weight seem almost like impossibility in your situation.
Like millions of other people, you almost always choose to brush off that faint voice at the back of your head, which is saying “This is loaded with calories. Don’t eat it!” Almost each one of us has these cravings and at that time, the answer to keep a check on them goes a lot beyond willpower.
Scientifically speaking, it is actually the feel-good brain chemicals like dopamine that fuel these cravings. And once you eat what you were pining for, these chemicals are released to create a sense of euphoria that your brain wants, time and again.
Natural as this cycle might be, it is detrimental for weight watchers like you who’re unable to resist and succumb to these urges and add on more unsightly pounds to your waistline. So, if you’re a worried weight watcher who is desperately trying to develop a resistance for these calorie-laden delights, here are a few things you MUST ask yourself when that insatiable urge tries to win you over:
1.Do I Feel Stressed?
Norman Pecoraro, a researcher with University of California, who studies stress physiology, explains that cortisol is a hormone that is released by the body when we’re stressed. This hormone suggests your brain to look for rewards and is usually satisfied (or eases out stress) by comfort foods that are loaded with fat and sugar. When you look for potato chips, french fries or any such food to ease out your negative emotions, like sadness or anger after an argument or fight with someone, you are subconsciously establishing a connection in your brain between comfort foods and stress.
In order to combat these negative emotions, it’s important that you find out ways for yourself that can help you relax instead of just grabbing the next bag of chips:
Listen to Music – Have an upbeat playlist ready with you at all times. Listen to it when the craving strikes. The songs provide an emotional release as well as the much-needed distraction.
Pause for the Cause – Wait it out. The intensity of cravings is known to subside after the initial 10 minutes have passed.
Know What’s the Distraction that Will Work For You – Every time you feel any negative feelings and you want to just gorge on food, ask this “I’m feeling _____ because ____.” This will help you find the distraction that will work best for you in that situation. For example, if you’re feeling lonely, taking a walk alone wouldn’t be of any help. If you’re stressed out because of a fight with your mom, call a close friend and let it all out. In short, look for an outlet that will help you release your nervous energy.
2. Am I Eating Less Than Usual?
You might think that by eliminating carbohydrates or any other food group completely, you’re reducing your calorie intake substantially. But the truth is, by cutting out any particular food group completely or by reducing your calorie intake to less than 1,000 calories daily, you’re only getting your body ready for the main craving mode. “Restrained eaters” thereby end up having 1-2 BMI points (or 10-20 pounds) higher than regular eaters.
Exercise Your Leeway Safely – Even if you do feel like surrendering to your cravings sometimes, don’t forget about portion control. Instead of eating the whole chocolate pie all by yourself, settle for only a bite of it.
Don’t Eat around Other Stuff to Avoid Your Specific Food Craving – If milkshake is what you seek, having yoghurt instead won’t be of any help. Trying to satisfy your specific craving by bingeing on other random food stuff may make you consume more calories than if you’ve just had that food item in a limited portion.
It may seem like a real pain initially to curb your food cravings but as you move along; it will become a habit and wouldn’t seem like too much of an effort anymore. It’s also a good idea to not stack fat-laden stuff, like mayonnaise, ice creams or cheese at home. If you don’t have time to cook, instead of going out to have a subway or any other restaurants that you “think” serve healthy food, try sticking to best home delivery diet food package services that serve fresh food at your doorstep at an affordable price.
Also, instead of fad diets, my personal recommendation would be to try this popular weight loss plan, which also focuses on bringing about behavioral changes in you instead of just guiding you about exercises or diet that’s good for you.
Always know that it’s not just the willpower and knowledge of what to do or eat that’s going to help you in your weight loss endeavors. Behavioral changes play a very subtle and crucial role in helping you stick to that lifestyle and keep off your lost weight for the long haul. Now you know why you always end up gaining weight whenever you get off a regime suggested by fad diets.
What do you crave for the most? How do you fight your cravings? Share it all with us in the comments section.
Rebecca Williams loves writing about meal delivery programs and review popular weight loss programs that are both healthy and easy on the pocket. She’s an avid reader and a nature lover. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her plants or go for a walk in the woods and spend time with children. She’s a contributor to Health Care Information, which is a great website that offers tips and advice for healthy living enthusiasts. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.