15 Tips For Managing Food Cravings

A healthy lunch in a box on an office table.

Having food cravings?

Don’t worry – you’re not alone!

Cravings are perfectly normal. Most people experience it, and in varying degrees, too. But did you know that there’s a difference between real hunger and food cravings?

When you experience real hunger, it’s physical. Your stomach will feel empty and you will feel lightheaded. You will also feel real hunger pangs in your stomach, as well as really low energy. You might even experience uncontrollable shaking.

On the other hand, food cravings are just due to your state of mind or because you are feeling certain emotions. For example, you are upset because of a bad breakup or something didn’t go well in your work today. You might start craving for chips or something sweet. You’ll be able to alleviate those cravings by buying what you are craving for, but it’s not exactly healthy!

Sadly, these cravings can be quite hard to ignore. And since they’re hard to ignore, you might eat excessive amounts of those unhealthy foods you crave for, which are all packed with empty calories and have very few nutrients. And if you eat more of them, they will potentially affect your health in the long run, and not in a good way.

If you’re bothered about experiencing food cravings more than usual and becoming less than healthy as a result, worry no more. Read through our article for 17 tips to prevent food cravings. Don’t worry – you’ll get them under control!

1. Eat Regularly And Don’t Skip Meals.

Making sure you eat on time creates balance in your body and will prevent unusual swings in your appetite. Cultivating his habit may prevent you from craving for unhealthy food.

2. Include Lots Of Protein In Your Diet.

Incorporating protein in your diet is an excellent way to manage food cravings. Protein helps stabilize blood sugar and helps you feel full for more extended periods. Including protein sources like eggs, nuts, seeds, tofu, chicken, fish, and legumes will help you satisfy your cravings in a healthier way.

3. Ensure You’re Getting Enough Calcium And Magnesium.

Both calcium and magnesium are minerals that help regulate nerve and muscle function, including the muscles in the stomach. When these minerals are in balance, it’s easier for the body to say no to cravings. Sources of magnesium include leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, while sources of calcium include dairy, kale, and tofu.

4. Get Enough Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

Consuming Omega-3s can help you fight cravings by reducing appetite and promoting leptin production. Leptin is a brain hormone that makes us feel full. Foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids include grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish like salmon or mackerel, avocados, and walnuts.

5. Limit Intake Of All Processed Foods.

Processed foods like chips, crackers, cookies, packaged breads, and cereals contain lots of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Eating these will sadly making you crave more food. These types of food are also high in salt, making us thirstier for sugary drinks like soda or fruit juices. Avoid them when you can!

6. Avoid Restrictive Diets.

When you deprive yourself of foods that you know will make you feel bad, it’s not necessarily a good thing. You might end up craving even more of them.

It is best to avoid overly restrictive diets to lose weight and stay healthy. Focus on eating foods that will help you maintain a good weight. A well-balanced eating plan and an occasional indulgence is much better than outright deprivation or restriction.

7. Don’t Let Yourself Get Ravenously Hungry.

When you reach the point of being ravenous, your common sense will most likely fail you, and you will be grabbing unhealthy foods you are craving about. It’s better to space out your meal and snack time with healthier choices that your body will thank you for.

8. Try Eating Slowly.

If ever you indulge in a food craving, try eating it slowy. When you eat slowly, you’ll feel full faster. You can stop yourself from eating, say a whole pizza pie. At least you were able to still enjoy your favorite craving!

9. Plan Out Your Meals With Filling, Nutrient-Dense Foods.

Trying to figure out what healthy things to eat? Plan your meals in advance. Try using an app or just doing it at the start of the week. When you avoid last-minute shopping for food, you’ll be able to buy food choices that are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats to promote feelings of fullness and decrease cravings.

10. Start A Hobby.

Having a hobby can keep your mind and body busy, preventing you from thinking about food. Find a good hobby that would nurture your mind and body, like a new exercise, crocheting, yoga, playing a sport with friends, and so on. Even just reading a good book can be something to keep your mind off of food.

11. Get Enough Sleep.

Aim for at least 7-8 hours every night. Sleep deprivation is a major culprit to overeating or eating more junk food. Plus, the more rest you have, the clearer you’ll be able to think about food choices.

12. Exercise Regularly.

When you exercise, you will feel healthier, sleep better, and you’ll also be able to lose some weight. But the best part is feeling better and healthier, because that means there are less occurrences of you feeling bad and craving for those unhealthy foods.

13. Drink Water.

Everyone knows that staying hydrated is good for you. But what you may not know is that drinking a glass before you get out of bed each morning makes you feel less stressed and more refreshed. Also, drinking water when you start craving can make you feel full, thus reducing your appetite and your penchant for indulging your unhealthy cravings.

14. Put An End To Labeling Foods As Bad Or Forbidden.

Usually, it’s not the type of food that counts when it comes to curbing cravings, but the quantity. You can indulge yourself from time to time in that food that you’re drooling over if you eat in moderation.

15. Accept The Fact That Food Cravings Are A Normal Part Of Life.

Although you cannot control cravings, you can control how you respond to them. Understand the connection between your desires and your mood or situation and find a solution. You’ll thank yourself for this because you’ll have a healthier mental state.

For A Healthy Body And Lifestyle, Contact Weight Loss Surgery LA

We hope these tips help you manage your food cravings so that you can keep a healthy weight, and enjoy general health improvement, both physically and mentally. Implement these tips and you can be sure that the results will be nothing but good!

For more tips on a healthy lifestyle, keep coming back to our blog. And if you want to know more about weight loss, weight loss surgery, and so on, feel free to call us at Weight Loss Surgery LA. For any questions you’d like to have answered, do not hesitate to contact us on your free time. A member of our warm and knowledgeable team will be in touch to assist you with whatever you need.

Posted on behalf of Dr. David G. Davtyan MD, FACS, FICS

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