6 Ways to Avoid Food Cravings from Interfering with Your Weight Loss Goals
Food cravings happen to everyone, and they can be difficult to manage, especially for people trying to lose weight. Luckily, there are ways to manage food cravings effectively to ensure they don’t interfere with your health and weight loss goals. Here are 6 tips you can try to combat food cravings.
Change Your Environment
The best way to avoid food cravings and binge eating is by not keeping certain foods in your home. If you recently had weight loss surgery, then the diet you’re on shouldn’t consist of junk food anyway, which can help keep you from buying it. If a craving hits you when you’re in the store or near the food you have trouble eating in a reasonable portion, try looking for an alternative that contains fewer calories or trans fats. More on healthier alternatives below.
Swap for A Healthier Alternative
Part of what makes food cravings so desirable are the sensations you get from eating those foods: salty, crunchy, sweet. If the foods you crave are impossible for you to eat in small quantities, try to choose a nutritious alternative. If you are craving a crunchy chip, munch on some crunchy vegetables like carrots. Roasted chickpeas or nuts in certain quantities can also be a healthier alternative.
Water, tea, or decaffeinated low-calorie beverages can also help curve cravings and also keep you hydrated.
Create a Distraction
Food cravings often occur out of boredom, so when a craving hits, try to pivot your attention to something productive to distract you. Keep your hands busy with a tactile task like crafting, knitting, or painting your nails, or a visual tactic like reading. One of the best distractions is to get up and move. Take a walk, do some yoga, or any movement to keep your mind occupied.
During a weight loss journey, it’s important to look within yourself. Accepting your thoughts and emotions without judgment can in turn help you make healthier decisions. A good way to do this is by writing down the triggers you think led to the craving. Are you too hungry? Too fatigued? Bored? By understanding what leads to your triggers, you can then try to think of ways to manage them.
Recruit a Support System
Overcoming food cravings can be easier said than done. Support groups are a great way to help hear from others about how they deal with cravings or help you figure out some ways to avoid them. Having people to talk to about your cravings can be a distraction in and of itself. Having support while on a weight loss journey is very important to ensure you stay on track and don’t lose sight of your goals.
Enjoy the Foods You Crave in Moderation
Although we already mentioned alternatives, it can sometimes be harmful to rid yourself of foods you enjoy. You can still enjoy things in moderation, and there are a few ways to help you stick to that. First, when you’re shopping, try buying smaller portions of the craved food. Try to set a limit on how much of it you will eat, or try mixing it in with another nutritious food so that you eat less of it.
Practice mindful eating when you eat your craved food. Many food cravings lead to binge eating, so eat slowly and pay attention to the taste, smell and texture when you’re eating.
Food cravings are hard for everyone, and they can be especially difficult when on a weight loss journey. The best ways to avoid cravings interfering with your weight loss goals is by having a good support system, making healthier alternatives, and overall wanting to achieve a healthier lifestyle for yourself.