Beating Hunger and Food Cravings

How to Fight Food Cravings:

Strangely enough, most food cravings have very little to do with hunger and everything to do with pure pleasure. “I want X and I want it now.” And it’s often foods high in calories that we crave…. I don’t think many people have ever felt the undying urge to eat some plain celery. But there are things to do in order to control cravings. 

  1. Stay well-rested. When you’re tired you very likely aren’t going to have or want to spend energy eating well. Additionally sleep recharges the body and you’re much less likely to have cravings with a well energized body and brain. 
  2. Avoid Getting extremely hungry. Duh right? But lets be honest there are stressful days where we forget to eat simply because we lose track of time. But if that’s the case, set some alarms. Getting extremely hungry leads to grabbing the first thing available and binge eating.
  3. Drink Water. You’d be suprised how often you’re actually thirsty when you think you’re hungry. If you’re hungry try drinking water first. Likewise before and after a meal, have a class of water. It takes up space in your stomach and makes you feel full. 
  4. Eat Protein: Protein is the most filling nutrient available. Protein reduces cravings, and helps people feel fuller for longer.
  5. Eat something before going to the supermarket. Never shop hungry. You’ll buy more than you need and likely buy something you shouldn’t.
  6. Don’t buy foods you shouldn’t be eating and don’t keep them around the house. Yes you could be disciplined. But why tempt yourself? Unless I know I am treating myself, I never buy unhealthy food. Because I have zero discipline at home so that means all my discipline has to happen in the store.
  7. Chew gum. It helps you feel like you are eating something.
  8. Have a Protein Shake. Don’t overdo this. They have lots of calories.
  9. Eat 2 big meals with a few small snacks. High amounts of body fat produces large amounts of gherlin (the hunger hormone) and an insensitivity to leptin (the fullness hormone) meaning that you’re more likely than someone who is lean to be hungry more often and need to eat more to feel full. So everyday aim for two big meals with one smaller meal or some snacks.

Works Cited:

  1. Ha, Hoertel. “A Randomized Crossover, pilot study examining the effects of a normal protein vs high protein breakfast on food cravings and reward signals in overweight/obese ‘breakfast skipping’, late-adolescent girls” PubMed. 6 August 2014.
  2. “Hunger and Satiety” Full4Health.