Anyone who wants to lose a few pounds or even has to reduce body weight for health reasons knows the problem: Although the desire to stick to a certain diet is there in principle, the desire for unhealthy, sugary or fatty foods is suddenly bigger. This phenomenon is also known as food cravings. Read here how food cravings arise and how they can be curbed and even prevented.
Cravings as a Diet Killer
Anyone who has ever followed a diet – for example to do something good for their own health – knows the phenomenon of voracious hunger: a diet is followed throughout the day and possibly a sports unit is integrated into the daily routine . In between or in the evening, however, the craving for unhealthy snacks or other high-calorie foods sets in. If you in turn give in, it usually doesn’t stop at a small portion.
Sudden strong food cravings have the potential to demotivate those who want to lose weight and put clients’ success in question. However, if you understand where cravings come from, there are a few tricks you can use to lessen them. A balanced diet will even help you avoid cravings altogether.
Cravings as the body’s warning signal
The feeling of ravenous hunger is – just like a “normal” feeling of hunger – a warning signal from the body. Being hungry indicates that it needs nutrients to keep functioning properly. However, what is treacherous is that hunger can sometimes also appear as cravings and therefore as a desire for unhealthy things.
If you give in to food cravings and eat sweets or snacks, the blood sugar level rises sharply – but drops rapidly again soon after. The result of the rapid drop is the renewed need to eat something sweet or fatty.
This means that when the body is hungry, it often doesn’t get the nutrients it actually needs. This, in turn, tricks the body into craving more food, despite previous food intake. However, it’s not really about the body needing something sweet. Rather, it just wants to remind us to take in enough nutrients.
A balanced diet prevents food cravings
Cravings are actually nothing more than the body’s need for nutrients. As a result, ravenous hunger is avoidable in most cases. In order to prevent seizures, it is particularly important not to skip any meals and to bet on healthy and nutritious foods. In this way, it is possible to ensure a sufficient supply of nutrients and to keep the insulin level constant – ravenous hunger then occurs much less frequently.
Of course, avoiding food cravings with a healthy, balanced diet doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it takes time for bad eating habits and the cravings that accompany them to be a thing of the past.
However, if you finally want to say goodbye to obesity and unhealthy food cravings, you need to take the time. It usually takes about six to eight weeks to change daily habits and adopt new, healthier eating habits. During this period, it is usually possible to get used to new behaviors and consolidate them. If this succeeds, cravings will soon be a thing of the past thanks to a reasoned diet.
However, it is important not to be discouraged by occasional setbacks and “sins” during the transition phase. On the contrary, those who want to permanently reduce cravings should continue to stick to regular meals, exercise and a healthy, low-calorie diet. If cravings continue to occur occasionally during the transition phase, they can be alleviated with a few simple tips.
Effectively reduce food cravings
According to official data, around 60% of all adults in Germany are overweight. Food cravings and the lack of control over them are partly responsible for this development. Fortunately, however, there are ways to constructively manage cravings or lessen them:
- If ravenous hunger occurs in a situation where it was a long time since it was last eaten, those affected should actually eat something. However, they should not give in to their cravings, preferring a small, healthy and balanced meal to sugary or fatty foods.
- As you eat, be sure to eat as slowly and mindfully as possible. This promotes the feeling of satiety and makes it last longer. Eating on the side – for example in front of the television – is less recommended.
- Cravings usually don’t last long – they usually go away after a quarter of an hour. To fill the time until the end of the attack, it is useful to chew gum or brush your teeth. The taste of mint often makes cravings for sweets or fatty things go away even faster.
- Drinking adequate amounts of fluid helps prevent food cravings. At least 1.5 to 2 liters of unsweetened liquid per day is recommended. Drinking a large glass of water or unsweetened tea can also help with cravings.