Helpful tips to beat your cravings for unhealthy food

Perfectly golden french fries, chunky juicy burgers, crunchy potato chips, sugary chocolatey cakes, and name them. You’ve told yourself repeatedly that you’ll stay away from them. But they keep calling out to you from the display windows and your refrigerator, and your taste buds can’t say no. You already know their impact on your health, and you want to eat healthily, but you struggle to keep your cravings in check. You tell yourself, just one little bite, and the whole plate is gone. If these lines hit too close to home, here are some tips to beat your cravings for unhealthy food. 

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Practice mindful eating

Practising mindful eating involves building a conscious awareness of your relationship with food. Many people eat junk food not because they’re hungry but because they may have found some comfort in that food. Take the time to address what emotional connections you have with unhealthy food. For example, do you eat junk food when you’re stressed? And if you reach for unhealthy food because you can’t feel full, find other ways to suppress the hunger. For example, you can consider going for a gastric balloon procedure. Also, be mindful of how much you serve yourself. Chew slowly to give your brain enough time to receive the signal that you’re full.

Always keep a bottle of water with you

Anytime you have a craving for any unhealthy food, gulp down some water and wait a few minutes. You may feel the cravings dissipate. That is sometimes the case because many confuse thirst with cravings for specific foods or drinks. Some clinical studies have shown that about 37% of people make this common mistake and confuse thirst with hunger. So, to ensure you’re not digging into unhealthy food when you’re thirsty, carry a bottle of water with you at all times. Anytime you feel like eating something or drinking something specific, drink some water first. If the cravings disappear, then you know you mistook thirst for hunger.

Plus, drinking water has many health benefits, including supporting weight loss and reducing appetite in general. 

Identify your trigger foods and deal with them

There are different types of unhealthy junk foods, and people have different ones they’re more drawn to. So, take the time to determine the ones that trigger your appetite and deal with them. By dealing with them, the point is to try not to purchase them or stock them up in your home. It’s much easier to give in to the temptation to eat when the food you crave is always within reach. Of course, that does not mean you shouldn’t buy food to treat yourself. You can, but limit your purchases only to the ones you can manage. For instance, if you can’t take a bit of a cookie without emptying the entire jar, don’t keep cookies at home. 

Add more protein to your meals

Protein has been proven to have a strong effect on appetite. Adding more of this to your meals should help you reduce your hunger, increase your feeling of fullness, and limit your intake of calories. Various studies have shown that protein affects different hormones in the body, such as ghrelin, that play a role in hunger and fullness. The fuller you feel, the fewer cravings you’ll have for unhealthy food.

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