7 ways to satisfy food cravings while dieting
Updated: Jul 4, 2019
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a craving is a “very strong desire for something.” Cravings are often confused with hunger but in reality they are very different. You can crave for carb loaded, unhealthy food even after you have had your dinner.
While hunger is body's natural response for the need of nourishment, craving, on the other hand is a response's of the brain's reward system. Had a long hard day, you crave for beer. Really smashed that meeting you went to? Great, you crave for a pizza.
So, in all cravings are psychological and can you can trick your brain in different ways to ignore or satisfy these cravings.
Here are the 7 ways in which you can satisfy your cravings:
1. Eating enough protein in your meals
A diet high in protein keeps you satiated for a long time. Thus reducing your craving for carb dense foods.
Depending on your physical activity levels your protein intake should be adjusted from 0.8 grams to 1.8 grams per kg of your body weight.
2. Eating meals frequently
Dividing your total meals of the day into 5-6 meals is a good strategy to avoid cravings. This allows you to eat frequently and reduces the chances you craving for something unhealthy.
3. Do an activity you enjoy
As cravings are psychological, you can distract your mind and focus on something that you really enjoy. Play a video game, talk to friends or go for a drive. Shift the focus from food to something else.
4. Use alternatives
Use alternatives to satisfy your food cravings. Craving a sugary soda? Go for a plain soda, it will have the fizz you want and the refreshing coolness. Craving a chocolate? Go for a dark chocolate which has less sugar content. In short you need to find an alternative for your craving.
5. Get proper sleep
When you do not sleep well, bodily hormones are imbalanced and this contributes to craving for sugary, carb rich foods. Getting enough sleep will help you keep your hormones in check. A good sleep of 7-9 hours is recommended for a healthy lifestyle.
6. Chew gum
Eating a sugar-free gum can help you get rid of the craving. Some recent studies suggest that chewing gum may reduce one’s cravings for sweets and for snacks. But do not overeat these gums as they are known to have polyols which may cause gastric distress.
7. Give in, on a cheat day:
You cannot always control your craving for something that you really enjoy eating. So go ahead plan a cheat day, and eat the sweet or the snack you love while staying in your calorie limits. Be sure to Cheat only after you have achieved a significant goal.