Cravings are driven by the brain’s need for “reward” – not the body’s need for food.
If you can have one bite and stop there, then indulging a little when you get a craving is absolutely fine.
But if you tend to binge and overeat as soon as you get a taste of sugary foods then giving in to the cravings is the worst thing you can do.
Here is a simple step plan to stop sugar cravings.
It is important to realise that a craving is NOT the same as hunger.
It’s not your body calling for energy, it is the brain calling for something that releases a lot of dopamine in the reward system
If your hungry – Make a meal!
However, if you get a craving and you’re hungry, that just makes it much, much worse.
A craving combined with hunger is a powerful drive that most people’s willpower will have a hard time overcoming.
If you get a craving and you are at all hungry, then start cooking immediately and eat a healthy meal.
Eating real food may not feel very appetising at the moment you have a craving for something like ice cream, but do it anyway.
If you have eat a good balanced variety of foods that day and the cravings hit for the junk food, exercise!
The exercise will release endorphins, some “feel good” chemicals in your brain, which can help turn the craving off.
If you can’t go outside, do a few exhausting sets of burpees, push ups, body weight squats or any other body weight exercise.
Don’t bring the junk food into the house to begin with
Throw out all junk food out of your house. If you keep them within close reach, then you’re just asking for trouble.
Also, if you eat healthy and exercise several times per week then chances are you won’t get cravings nearly as often.
Here are some other methods you may find useful:
- Have a glass of water. Some people say that cravings can be caused by dehydration.
- Eat a fruit. Having a piece of fruit may help satisfy sugar cravings for some people. Bananas, apples, oranges work great.
- Eat more protein. Protein is great for satiety, may help with cravings as well.
- Sleep well. Getting proper, refreshing sleep is important for overall health and can help prevent cravings.
- Avoid excess stress. Same as with sleep, avoiding stress can help prevent cravings.
- Avoid certain triggers. Try to avoid specific activities or places that give you cravings, such as walking past McDonald’s.
- Take a multivitamin. This will help prevent any deficiencies.
- Don’t starve yourself. Try to prevent yourself from becoming too hungry between meals.
The key to defeating nightly battles with hunger isn’t in forcing yourself to resist your cravings; it’s about taking the power away from the cravings before they even show up.
Be proactive, sensible, and diligent, and even the most inviting of food aromas won’t be able to tempt you away from your goals.
– Aaron McC
Evolve Health & Performance