Some of the biggest challenges we can all face when trying to stay with a particular diet plan, or when it comes to weight loss in general, are cravings. Are you trying to eat for your body type, but still craving those foods you are supposed to avoid? Or how about just trying to avoid unhealthy and fattening foods, but you are dreaming about candy bars and potato chips every night? There are some things that you can do to help you control your appetite during this transition, so that you do not sabotage your efforts.
Out of sight, out of mind.
We all have our own “trigger” foods. You know, those not so healthy foods that you just can’t help but think about when you are hungry, and if you have them in the house they won’t last long. Start by tossing out all these trigger foods that might tempt you and do not align with your goals. If cravings come over you and there is nothing naughty to be found in the kitchen, you are more likely to stick to your diet plan.
Just because you decided to change the way you eat, does not mean others at your home will do so as well – especially if you have children. If you have to keep some trigger foods at home, keep them out of your sight or reach. You can also avoid temptation by creating special areas for your “off-limits” food, shrink-wrapping items you tend to snack on, placing things in the back of the cupboards etc.
Having a plan is the first step to achieving a goal. If you plan your meals in advance, and create a shopping list, then you can make sure that you stick to it while you are in the store, which will keep you from impulse buying food that is not in your plan. For the same reasons, be sure to NEVER go to the grocery store hungry!
The same goes for your meals for the week; if you have a plan to stick to it is much easier to avoid last min takeout pitfalls. If you can make your meals in advance, even better, because then you will have something when hunger strikes, and will be less likely to give into cravings.
Replace the rituals.
Are you used to having ice cream after dinner? Or crunchy chips with your lunch sandwich? How about replacing these rituals with others, like fresh fruits for desert and crunchy veggies as a side?
Most of us will tend to break our healthy eating habits out of boredom-especially at the evening when we tend to slow down. Keep yourself busy during those times you will be craving things you should avoid by doing things like going for a walk after dinner. If you set up new rituals, and maintain them, before you know it most of your habit-based cravings will disappear.
Drink plenty of water.
Most people often tend to confuse dehydration with hunger. The best thing to do is to keep a gallon sized container of water close by at all times, and finish at least one daily. Cold water will also force your body to burn calories, and will keep you feeling more full and therefore less hungry. You can always infuse your water with lemon or other fruits or substitute chilled herbal tea if you don’t like plain water.
Set one day or meal a week to truly reward yourself for your consistent efforts, but just be sure not to overdo it! This can be time that you allow yourself to give into some of your cravings, so that you do not feel as deprived the rest of the time, and will be less likely to give into cravings for food if you know that you have a time set aside where you can have them. It is also nice to be rewarded every once in a while when you have been doing a great job sticking to your goals, right?
Pick Solids Over Liquids
Solid calories and liquid calories can affect appetite differently. Outside of water, you should limit your liquids and focus more on consuming solids when you have a craving for something.
It takes longer to eat solid food that to simply drink something, with all the bites and chewing, and that way your body has more time to register that it has eaten something than if you down a sugary drink. Besides the added sugar and calories that many drinks contain, you can also feel fuller after eating a solid snack than just having a drink.
Don’t Skip Meals
This may seem like common sense, but we are all busy and sometimes it happens without us even realizing it and we miss a meal. Skipping meals leads to hunger, and when you are very hungry you are more likely to give into cravings for things that you otherwise would possibly not even think about, or could turn down. Making an eating schedule and sticking to it can be a great way to avoid falling into this trap.
Use A Natural Appetite Suppressant
Everyone needs a little help sometimes. Even if you are using all these tips and trying your hardest to eat how you should, it is possible that you are still having cravings and unable to avoid giving into them.
There are many natural ingredients and products available that can safely help you to control your appetite. This way you can ensure that you can maintain your diet long enough to form new healthier habits, and you will not get discouraged by giving into cravings.
Look out for our next article about what ingredients will help you the most with your appetite!