Cravings for foods are experienced when our brain has become desensitized to the colors and smells of certain foods, or when after eating something that we craved we suddenly realize later that we’ve eaten more than we should or that we have now gained weight. Cravings generally do not last more than 5 minutes but can last for extended periods. However, craving the truly wild and fantastic foods we’re used to eating can be a real problem for weight loss. Here are some ideas and tips to help you to curb food cravings;
- Avoid getting too hungry: When eating, try to eat 4 to 6 small, healthy meals throughout the day. Missing or skipping a meal slows down your metabolism, just as eating larger meals does, and this causes fat-burning to slowly shut down. This is a major problem when trying to lose weight. The body requires a steady stream of energy to make it function properly. If you do not supply this essential energy source, the body will try to compensate by storing fat. This can be counterproductive to weight loss.
- Drink water as often as possible: Water is a very useful substance in controlling hunger. It fills us up and takes up space in our stomach. Also, if urges for food are strong inside you, drinking lots of water can help to distract you and stop you from eating. Staying well-hydrated can also help your metabolism and help you burn more calories; this, in turn, can help to lose weight.
- Substitute sugar for healthier alternatives: Sugar is high in calories and unhealthy carbs, these can cause fat and weight gain. Leaner forms of sugar, such as the natural sweeteners such as Stevia and mist sweetener can be used in moderation as a substitute for sugary varieties on low-sugar diets.
- Get back on track: Avoiding excessive exercise during the weight loss process is not a good idea. This can lead to muscle loss and insufficient calorie burning. Do regular, moderate exercise, but do not overdo it. Even if your goal at the outset is only to lose a few pounds, you can achieve the same results by exercising 20 to 40 minutes about three times a week compared to once a week.
- Preparation and planning: Although the first step in controlling your weight is committing to a healthy diet that is based on lean portions and minerals, do not stop there. Keep a food diary so you can see what you eat regularly. Plan and prepare a reasonable snack or meal to eat when you feel hungry and make it as simple as possible to achieve your goal.
- Eating Smaller Portions or A smaller plate: When consuming foods such as vegetables, it is best to eat small faces or portions. Using a smaller plate will help you develop the properly sized eating habits; this will help you limit your calorie intake at each meal. Also, never go back for seconds as this will only cause overeating or gorging.
- Avoid Liquid Calories: Stay away from fizzy drinks like sodas and continue to drink water instead. Avoid eating calories that come from your meals. Practice eating on a smaller plate or discretion. Eating off of a plate will help you reduce your food intake and help you monitor your calorie consumption.
- Get up and move: This is suggested at the start of diets or any other weight loss plan. The recommendation is to begin a gradual exercise program. Once you have started and feel comfortable with the exercise, you can increase the amount or intensity of your workouts. Adding physical activity is one of the biggest ways to control your weight. It is suggested that about 20-30 minutes of exercise is ideal, but if time does not permit then break it up into 10-minute increments. It is important to add more physical activity as you can. Find ways to get a little more exercise in your day to day routine. Walk to the store, take the stairs, or join a cycling club.
- Track your progress: Keep a record of your calorie intake and exercise, this is just as important as planning and preparation. Tracking your progress can help encourage you to continue with your weight loss program. You can use a notebook, spreadsheet, or even an online tracking service. Honestly monitor what you eat and drink. At the end of the day, you may want to consider restricting a few items in your diet to shrink your calorie intake in a concerted effort.
- Be realistic: These tips come in handy when you’re not seeing the results you want immediately. Understand yourself and stay focused on your weight loss goals. You didn’t gain twenty pounds in a month, so don’t expect to lose that amount at that time. Stay on track, and this will eventually become a lifestyle change that will help you achieve the results you desire.
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