The bane of even the best of weight loss strategies? That’s easy!
The dreaded munchies! Food cravings! The whispers you hear coming from the fridge in the middle of the night!
Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Surveys show that 70% of men and 100% of women have those urges for unhealthy snacking.
Check out the internet for weight loss tips and one of the main sections you’ll come across is how to snack healthy. From time to time all through the day, you’re going to feel the need for a snack to keep you going until the next meal time. And, as every weight watcher knows, the minute you tell yourself that you’re on a diet, all the bad foods, high-calorie foods, sugary foods, and savory foods start clamoring for your attention.
Identify the Reasons for those Food Cravings
Before you start to draw up a list of what is and isn’t good for you, a better idea would be to understand the reasons behind your body’s unreasonable requests for food. Once you know where they originate, you’ll find it easier to deal with them. And, lose weight.
Read ahead for some of the basic reasons why you crave food so you can understand better how to overcome them.
You Could Have Food Addictions
Each time you eat something good (translate that into anything containing rich carbohydrates, sugar, fat, and sugar); your brain releases feel-good chemicals like dopamine. When you eat enough of those foods, your brain remembers the taste of the food and creates food cravings. The chemicals push you into eating more of the same foods. Over time, a cycle is created similar to that of a reaction to drugs.
However, scientists are now discovering that even bland foods can have the same effect. And, that means you can train your brain to crave the foods that are actually good for you. How? Simply by eating them more often.
Your Hormones Could be Off Balance
If you’re above the age of 35, you might want to check with your doctor and request for a blood test to assess your hormone levels. Once you cross age 35, the production of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone in women and testosterone in men starts to slow down. As a result, you’ll see symptoms such as low libido, mood swings, depression and anxiety, and weakening muscles and bones. Worst of all, you’re likely to experience unexplained weight gain and food cravings.
If you do find that hormone imbalances are making you raid the fridge at all odd times, you might want to look for help. For instance, as the experts at the BHRC hormone replacement treatment center recommend, look for a therapy that gives you plant-based supplements which can correct the imbalances and help you overcome those untimely urges for food.
You Could be Sleep Deprived
Lack of sleep can make you reach for unhealthy foods. That’s because insufficient sleep can make the frontal lobe of the brain function more slowly. And, since this section governs complex decision-making, you’re more likely to give in to food cravings and end up eating the junk food.
As UC Berkeley professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Matthew Walker reveals in the study published in Nature Communications, “High-calorie foods also became significantly more desirable when participants were sleep-deprived. This combination of altered brain activity and decision-making may help explain why people who sleep less also tend to be overweight or obese.”
Make sure you get the required 8 hours each night and you might find that controlling your appetite is much easier.
You Could Be Severely Stressed
While short-term stress can kill your appetite, long-term stress causes your adrenal glands to produce more of cortisol. This hormone can raise the motivation to consume more of foods that contain sugars and fat. Now you know why you absolutely must have that bowl of ice cream after a hard day’s work? And that’s not all. Your gender can also dictate how your react to an excess of cortisol. Men are more likely to crave a drink or cigarettes while women will have food cravings.
Now that you know how your anxiety makes you eat more, try to let go of the stress using techniques that don’t center on food. Try meditation, exercising, yoga, deep breathing, and any other strategy that helps you calm down do you don’t give in to unhealthy snacking.
You Have Food Craving Zones
Take a close look at your lifestyle and you’ll find that there are several spots around your home and workplace where you feel the sudden urge to get a specific kind of snack. For instance, when you sit down to watch TV, you must have a bag of chips and dip with soda. Or, when you stop for coffee on your way to work, you can’t resist ordering a donut, croissant, or bagel to go with it. Identify these zones and the next time you’re in them, make a conscious effort to get over your food cravings.
You Have Unhealthy Food Lying Around
Did you know that dieting begins at the grocery store? The theory is simple. If you have only healthy food lying around the house, you will eat only what you have. So, the next time you go shopping, take your time reading the food labels and choosing only those items that are good for the body. You now have various phone apps that tell you what each food contains along with the number of calories per ingredient. You only need to feed in the targeted daily calorie-count and it will help with the shopping.
Food cravings are not just bad for weight loss but they’re harmful in many different ways. Eating frequent meals and snacking causes damage to your digestive system and surprisingly, also your teeth. If you constantly feel the urge to put food in your mouth, identify the causes and work on how to eliminate them. You’ll reach your optimum weight and feel a lot healthier.