You have just eaten, but want more? Or are you lying on the sofa on Sunday afternoons and could empty the whole fridge? Situations that you have certainly already experienced. In this article, I’ll explain where your cravings comes from and give you 6 helpful tips to avoid losing control.
Reasons for food cravings
- Cravings very often have something to do with your diet: For example, your body is undersupplied – not necessarily with calories, but maybe with important nutrients that you are withholding from your current eating habits . So what is he doing? He will let you eat whatever he can find – in the hope of getting enough of the missing nutrient.
- Even if you eat too little, you risk losing control. That’s why crash diets don’t work. When your resilience – that is, your power of resistance or your stamina – is used up, your body can take over the command: It now needs energy and in turn lets you eat much more than you actually need to avoid the “famine” that you have led it to believe , is finally over.
- Insufficient or disturbed sleep is another reason for cravings. A lack of sleep creates stress and is therefore responsible for a number of reactions in the body, including: a. for your increased appetite.
- Women have cycle-related hormone fluctuations added: For example, a low progesterone level leads to a great appetite for carbohydrates – mostly for quick sugars, as found in sweets or white bread etc. These foods in turn cause a sharp increase in insulin and thus an equally sharp drop. These strong blood sugar fluctuations in turn result in food cravings. A vicious circle.
- Finally, imprints from childhood can be the reason for loss of control. For example, if you were consoled with sweets as a child, you will take this pattern with you into adulthood. But this is not an excuse: Those who do not deal with emotional hunger can get a grip on it. Nevertheless, conscious work on it is necessary.
Before I give you specific tips against cravings, here is the first one outside of the ranking: just eat! If you don’t want that because you pay attention to your figure or don’t want to indulge your cravings unrestrainedly, here are my 6 tips against cravings:
Tips against cravings
1. Optimizing nutrition
Cravings can be triggered by malnutrition. If you are not currently on a diet and are thus supplying the body with sufficient energy, you can consider whether you are offering it a balanced macro and micronutrient distribution. Simply put, do you eat good foods, enough carbohydrates, protein and fat, and enough vegetables and some fruit? Do you eat regularly and wholesome? The body may signal that it needs more of individual nutrients.
So listen carefully. Try to find out what you feel like doing and whether you can help out with your usual diet. For example, if you take very long breaks between meals, you could insert a small snack to restore energy and nutrients to the body.
Also eat yourself really full at meals (lots of vegetables). This way there is no micronutrient deficiency in the first place and your digestion will thank you.
Drink in the case of cravings, first a large glass of water and wait a moment. Spicy tea (there are many good varieties, so let off steam) or coffee can help a lot. Please make sure not to add any sugar (no, not even honey, because this is also made of sugar). If you like, you can try sweetener. However, this can also cause cravings in some – you have to find that out for yourself.
3. The “handbrake”
Listen to your stomach and honestly ask yourself whether you are really hungry or just want to eat. So you can pull the “handbrake” yourself so as not to lose control. For example, if you have just eaten and are actually full, you should allow some time to pass for the feeling of fullness to settle in. This usually takes up to 20 minutes until it really comes up.
So try, for example, to eat more slowly, to drink a little more on the side and to allow yourself a little break after the meal or to wait. You can also ask yourself, “Would I still feel like a large bowl of green salad?” If the answer is no, you are most likely full enough. 😉
Sounds trite, but is very effective. Do the laundry, pursue your hobby or relax and read a book, but PLEASE DO NOT go shopping now (see cover picture 😉)! If you productively distract yourself and let some time pass, the appetite usually disappears on its own. Make yourself aware that your cravings are only limited in time.
Go for a walk, do yoga or relaxation exercises. Ideally, you play sports. If you really work up a sweat, you can use the so-called fight-or-flight mode. A prehistoric state in which – as the name suggests – you either face danger (fight) or, better still, take your legs in hand (flight). Both modes have always protected people from danger. If you are running away from a tiger, hunger is not an option. Take advantage of this mode by really accelerating during training. After that you have definitely earned your food and you can and should eat properly – but of course mainly with the “right” foods.
6. Go shopping .
Everyone knows this tip. But do you follow it consistently? Even if you have little time, you can at least drink a large glass of water before going shopping to keep your appetite in check and not to load the entire candy shelf into the shopping cart.
If you don’t even have sweets and Co. at home, you can’t eat the “wrong” if you crave or you would have to go extra, which – let’s be honest – in most cases you won’t do. So go ahead and trick yourself. 😉
Things that unfortunately didn’t make it onto the list, but which can still help:
- Brush your teeth
- Bake cakes and then give them away (don’t eat them!) 😉
- Watch baking and cooking videos (sounds crazy, but actually helps some people)
BONUS: My two secret weapons 😉
Pickled cucumbers! The all-purpose weapon in my competition diet. During this time, I was very careful about my calories and had to manage them. Pickles / pickles came in handy. A glass of it has less than 10 kcal per 100 g (for the variant without added sugar). Whoever devours it completely has consumed just 30 kcal – a lot of volume with a few calories. A cucumber is of course just as good.
Baked cocoa! My insider tip No. 2: If I feel like chocolate, I treat myself to it – but mostly not in the form of whole milk -Chocolate (addictive!). Instead, in such situations I like to make myself a hot coffee (decaffeinated in the evening) and add a little cocoa to it. With it I have a low-calorie hot drink and get my “chocolate costs” right. With baking cocoa and quark / curd cheese you can also mix a really delicious, chocolatey protein snack. Please try it out. 😉
First, choose a tip that suits you and that you can apply. Don’t try to do all of them right away or to change your entire lifestyle from now on – it backfires in the vast majority of cases – your body usually wants to stick to its habits, even if they are not optimal. Instead, try to help him slowly and gradually with these little tips.