Do you find that you overeat, not just in general, but specific foods? This is often not from proper hunger cues from your body, but due to cravings. Many people crave salty or sweet foods, but it can be a craving for just about anything. Here are some tips for curbing those cravings.
Drink More Water
There is a reason you see this recommendation every time you read about controlling your appetite or reducing hunger and cravings. In many cases, you feel hungry, but you are actually thirsty and possibly dehydrated. It is easy to get these signals crossed, so when you think you need food, you just need a little H2O. It is a good rule of thumb that when you are having cravings in between meals, you drink a full glass of water. Wait at least 20 minutes after completing your water, then if you still have that craving, go ahead and have a snack. If not, you were just thirsty.
Reduce Your Stress Levels
Mental and physical health is very closely connected. Your physical health can affect your mental wellbeing, and your mental health can affect your physical wellbeing. It is not uncommon to have stress or anxiety, and that lead to emotional eating, constant hunger, or increased cravings. Part of the reason for this is because the hormone cortisol is released when you have a lot of stress. This hormone causes you to find a way to relieve the feelings, which many people do with sugar, carbs, and junk food. This is where the term “stress eating” comes from. By reducing your stress, you can also reduce your cravings.
Get Enough Nutrients in Your Meals
The most important thing about having healthy meals isn’t trying to eat as little as possible or restricting food groups, but aiming for balance. Have an even balance between lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and produce in the form of vegetables or fruits. This might mean having a dinner with salmon, brown rice, and broccoli, or a lunch with a sandwich on whole grain bread and an apple on the side. You can get as simple or as complex as you want, as long as you are getting all the nutrients you need without starving yourself.
Make Sure You Are Eating Enough
You also need to be sure you are not restricting yourself in other ways. Don’t wait too long to eat between meals, or try to go on a crash diet. Malnutrition and undereating can quickly lead to food cravings and binges, which might cause you to gain more weight than what you lose.