How To Control Your Cravings?

Curb Your Cravings

We’ve all felt hunger. It’s the sensation we get when we want to eat food. It’s a physiological mechanism designed to tell us when we need to have sustenance. However, in the Western world, food is in plentiful supply all around us and our interpretation of hunger has become confused.

Understanding Hunger:
To put it simply, hunger can be viewed in two ways- physiological, (stomach or true hunger, is where you are genuinely hungry) and psychological (mouth hunger, is where you fancy something to eat). 
So What Are Cravings? 

Cravings tend to come into effect when we restrict ourselves from eating the foods we desire, which consequently can have a negative effect on our mood.
This increases temptation and when you then eat something you’re craving, you enjoy it even more. This can cause a negative cycle of mood changes that leads you to want to snack more. 
Just thinking about food triggers the behaviour you want to avoid, i.e. eating. It’s especially hard as food is constantly around us. It’s such an important part of our social lives, we see adverts for tasty foods everywhere, and it’s frequently the topic of conversation (for us anyway). 
How To Control Your Cravings:
  • Eat regular meals and stick to a schedule – get into the habit of not skipping meals even if you are trying to be ‘good’ or because you feel guilty about what you ate earlier. 
  • Listen to your body – eat regularly and only when you are genuinely hungry. Learn the difference between physiological and psychological hunger- be mindful!! 
  • Identify what’s causing your cravings – keep a food and feelings diary by jotting down what you eat and when, and how you feel before and afterwards. This may help you identify triggers and problem times of the day, and to recognise if you're snacking for comfort, boredom or loneliness
  • Find a hobby or interest – if you are snacking for comfort, eating will not make the problem go away. Do something to occupy yourself to avoid nibbling. 
  • Make eating a separate activity - many people snack while doing certain things, and consequently, the activity then becomes a signal for a craving. For example, watching TV and snacking.
  • Stay hydrated – this will help to keep you feeling full. 
  • Don’t let a slip-up lead to more – if you do succumb to a craving, avoid the mindset “now that I’ve eaten that I may as well make the most of it".