Do you often find yourself reaching for a snack shortly after a full meal? Do you rummage through your pantry for chips, ice cream or chocolate whenever you feel bored or anxious?
You are not alone.
A new study shows that Americans, in particular, yield to cravings quite often and snack throughout the day. Despite getting full meals, which usually last for 70 minutes, Americans spend another 30 minutes to satisfy their cravings through snacking. The surrender to cravings is one of the leading factors behind poor health because of the tendency to overeat, which jacks up calorie intake.
Cravings can be difficult to manage. The intense desire for a particular kind of food is never easy to silence. So, how do you stay in control to maintain good health?
Here are six effective strategies to help you deal with your cravings:
1. Plan your menu
Menu planning is one of the most effective ways of controlling an unhealthy desire to eat certain types of food in between meals. A well-planned menu should have the dishes you love — food that you can look forward to.
More often than not, when you know your next meal is going to be something you will thoroughly enjoy, you will feel this excitement building up within you so that your next meal is all you want to eat.
2. Snack smart
Anticipate your cravings and prepare your snacks. As previously mentioned, cravings are difficult to control. So, at times, instead of holding off, it is better to just be prepared for them and, at the same time, prevent excessive snacking.
For instance, if you sleep late at night and the full dinner you had feels no more at a particular hour, make sure to already set aside a portion of the snack that can satisfy your craving. Likewise, make certain that snack will not only satisfy your taste buds but also nourish you well.
3. Eat your snacks like a meal
Be deliberate or intentional about snacking to satisfy your craving.
Go to the dining table and eat your snack there. This is an effective way of preventing excessive consumption, which can make you feel guilty afterward. On the contrary, eating your snack like a proper meal will feel more enjoyable and satisfying. You will also be less inclined to eat more than necessary.
4. Identify what you normally crave
Do you usually want something sweet or do you typically long for something salty and savory? Do you prefer something cold, or do you want to eat something crispy or crunchy once in a while? By clearly identifying your usual cravings, you can stock up on ingredients that meet your requirements.
For something sweet, perhaps you can buy nutritious protein bars that come in a variety of flavors. For something salty, you can opt for edamame, kale, and nuts that you can salt and season with spices and roast or bake in the oven for a few minutes. These are healthier options, and they are what you need on hand to avoid piling on the calories when snacking.
5. Consume more fluids
Fluids can give you that full feeling if you consume a lot of it throughout the day. The full feeling that you get from drinking water, tea, juices, and eating soup can curb cravings.
You will find that even when you do decide to treat yourself to a snack to satisfy your cravings, you end up eating less. This is because you still feel full.
6. Be mindful and deliberate
Take a step back and listen to your body before reaching for a snack to fulfill your cravings. If you are simply dealing with the demand of your taste buds, you may want to divert your attention to something else at first. By doing so, you may forget about wanting to eat something eventually. But, if you are craving food because you are hungry, then, by all means, snack and savor every bite.
To control cravings, it is a must to understand and identify the signals correctly. You can do this by pausing for a bit and asking yourself questions about what you are feeling.
These are the six ways which you can try to effectively curb your cravings, so you don’t end up overeating. Cravings are not a bad thing, but you do need to take control of them. Hopefully, these tips will benefit you greatly in effectively managing your health.
AUTHOR BIO :- Dave Asprey is the creator of the widely popular Bulletproof Coffee, host of the #1 health podcast, Bulletproof Radio, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, “The Bulletproof Diet.” Through his work, the Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur provides information, techniques and keys to taking control of and improving your biochemistry, your body and your mind so they work in unison, helping you execute at levels far beyond what you’d expect, without burning out, getting sick, or allowing stress to control your decisions.