We all get those food cravings, from time to time, that have us pining over a family sized bar of chocolate, or a bucket of greasy chicken wings. I personally know that I find it extra hard resisting chocolate when it is that certain time of the month!
So how do we help overcome these cravings and satisfy our taste buds without overloading ourselves with empty calories?
Here are some tips you can use to help curb your cravings and stay in control of what you choose to eat!
Plan ahead - One of the key tips is not allowing yourself to become starving at any point. So plan ahead. Know what you are going to have for each meal and organise healthy and quick snacks that you can munch on to quench those other cravings before they have a chance to take hold!
Drink plenty of water - You might be surprised to find that a lot of the times that you find yourself daydreaming about foods, it is because your body is actually craving water. So make sure you stay hydrated ( try aim for 7-8 glasses of water a day) and if you find that the cravings are starting to take hold, opt to drink a big glass of water and sit on that for 20 minutes. You might find that the cravings disappear naturally!
Opt for protein - I love having a protein-rich diet, partially because I am a very active person and require it, but also because it helps sustain me, keeping me feeling satisfied for longer. So try to incorporate some healthy protein sources into your meals and even your snacks, to make sure your body has all the fuel it needs all day long.
Learn to relax - Stress causes your body to ramp up the production of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and when levels are high it impacts upon your insulin levels which in turn alters your blood sugar levels. The results? You start to crave foods that are high in sugars and fats. So make sure you keep stress to a minimum and incorporate plenty of relaxation and stress release into your week.
Rest up - Making sure you get enough sleep each night will help balance out the two hormones that regulate hunger and satiety. The hormone ghrelin increases your appetite and the hormone leptin makes you feel full and satisfied. When you don't get enough sleep your ghrelin levels go up and your leptin levels go down, meaning you will be feeling hungry, even when you don't really need any food. So make sure you get your 7-8 hours each night!
- Don’t shop hungry - Shopping hungry is a real no-no, especially if you are prone to buying a trolley full of treats instead of a trolley full of real food! So make sure you organise to do your shop after you have recently eaten. Because if you have a cupboard full of chocolate, you are going to be very tempted to eat it all!