A food craving is an overwhelming desire to consume a particular kind of food. You might crave a food that’s associated with positive feelings or that helps you relax. Researchers doubt that these cravings reflect an underlying nutritional deficiency. Rather, the urge to eat may come from a need to improve mood or relieve boredom.
These cravings can be frustrating for those trying to lose weight and for those prone to emotional eating, since cravings can trigger episodes of overeating.
Most people experience cravings later in the day, w hen you are hungry, tired or stressed. Cravings are less likely to arise when you do everything you can to prevent the physical needs and negative moods that trigger cravings.
Avoid Fatigue. When you need more energy, you may try to get that energy from food, even though what you really need is sleep. People who are short on sleep experience more hunger and consume more calories than they really need.
Exercise Regularly. Try to get some physical activity every day. Exercise reduces stress and fatigue as well as improving a persons mood.
Drink Plenty of Water. You need at least eight glasses of water a day, more when you’re exercising or in a hot environment.
Select healthful foods you enjoy. Plan meals and snacks that include a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You are less likely to experience cravings when your diet has good variety. You can work with a personal trainer/nutritional coach to help you create an individual nutritional plan that accommodates your lifestyle.
Avoid Restrictive Diets. Avoid diets that are too low in calories or eliminate food groups. These programs may work for a few weeks, but then lead to feelings of deprivation.
Keep problematic foods out of your home. Manage stress throughout the day to prevent the emotional distress that triggers cravings. Exercise, take breaks and enjoy life.
Address tendencies to overeat. If emotional eating and overeating is a problem, find a qualified fitness professional to help you create better ways to cope with stress and other triggers.
Sometimes you can find a low calorie version of the food that can satisfy your craving. Maybe a fudgsicle can replace chocolate ice cream. Be creative and look for solutions that are delicious and satisfying.
To learn more about controlling your cravings and starting on the path to better health, call Jones Fitness at 661-424-0814.