The best way to deal with cravings is to first understand where they come from. When you’re lying in front of the TV at night craving a sweet or savory snack, it is for one of two reasons: either your body is lacking some vitamin and or mineral, or it is an emotional issue.
(Don’t miss the video below to learn how to deal with crunchy, savory snacking cravings)
Disclaimer: The above statement is true only on the assumption that you have fed your body adequately throughout the day and follow a sensible diet in general.
By eating a balanced diet and taking the right supplementation, your body (and mind) will crave very little outside of meal time. It is easy to determine what is causing your late-night munchies, and I will discuss them here with you. I will also discuss how to deal with them and offer some healthier, low calorie alternatives.
Understand that cravings are not about being hungry
Yes, chemicals are released into your body when you are hungry or craving something, however, they are different chemicals. When you are hungry and your insulin levels plummet, your body releases the hunger hormone ghrelin. After satisfying the hunger, your body will release leptin, which suppresses your appetite.
Cravings are controlled by the mind and are a little more difficult to understand
Emotions, certain associations and some types of food can trigger cravings. Many people will confuse this with hunger simply because they do not understand the difference. Cravings must be dealt with as a matter of urgency as this only leads to overeating fattening foods.
If your diet has excess fatty or sugary foods, your body will release chemicals called opoids into your bloodstream, which cause a sensation of pleasure. The challenge with this is that you will keep wanting this sensation and therefore, continue to eat nutritionally void snacks. You have got to break this cycle.
How your memories cause cravings
Sensory memories are dangerous as they are everywhere around you. These memories come up at the most inopportune time and the cause the brain to release the hormone dopamine. D
opamine has been linked to the same sensation as drug addiction. The more you have it the more you want it. Advertisers use sensory memories smartly to get consumers to buy certain products.
How often have you seen a fast food advert on TV or in a magazine and find yourself craving that fast food item. This is a dangerous one as according to Dr Phil, these adverts actually cause an insulin spike in your body which can lead to you gaining weight without even sinning (eating the forbidden food). I actually get up and walk away from the TV when food adverts are displayed. (I have an insatiable appetite for junk food).
Serotonin,which is the happy hormone of your body, is linked to your emotions. When you are feeling down,there’s not much serotonin being released into your body. The quick and silly way to deal with this is to snack on something unhealthy. The reward is short lived and results in gaining weight.
Now that you understand the difference between hunger and cravings, here’s how you deal with cravings
You might want to keep a journal of your snacking to pinpoint the reasons for doing so.After a week of this you will know what is triggering the cravings and then be able to deal with them.
- Drink lots of water throughout the day. Have a glass of water before and after each meal.Grab some water instead of reaching for a snack.
- As mentioned earlier, find a way to get balanced nutrition.
- If you have emotional issues – deal with them. You don’t have to have psychotherapy to raise your serotonin levels. You can start exercising. By the way, exercise is great natural appetite suppressant. Go walking, cycling, swimming or anything else that takes your fancy. Think of things to do that make you happy. Read a book, get on the phone to your best friend, read your favorite book, whatever it takes to get yourself feeling good again
- Keep low fat, healthy snacks in the home. Nuts, fruit, soup and protein bars all great choices as they taste great and are calorie friendly.
- Keep in constant contact with your weight loss cheer leader as he or she has a vested interest in your weight loss.
Learn to cope with crunchy, savory snacking cravings
You can watch this video right here by clicking on “play”.
The secret is to make the decision to deal with this weight management challenge, that is usually half the battle. By understanding and implementing the above advice, you will certainly cut back on your snacking and the weight will fall off of you. Thanks for stopping by. We would love to hear about any other weight loss challenges that you are currently facing and help you find ways to deal with them.