- Do not keep long gaps between meals to prevent cravings
- Avoid eating sugary and junk foods
- Carry healthy snacking options with you
We all experience cravings. Craving for comfort food or your favourite food items can be triggered by mood changes, lack of sleep, fad diets, lack of exercise and much more. Lifestyle coach Luke Coutinho says that giving in to cravings is one of the top most reasons why you gain weight. Cravings can lead to hormonal imbalance and also make you go through unnecessary guilt. Cravings are basically the result of not giving your body what it needs. When you don't nourish your cells with proper food, the body responds to it in the form of cravings, says Luke in one of his posts on Instagram.
Healthy tips to deal with cravings
1. In order to prevent cravings, the key is to nourish your body with proper food. Following a fad diet that is restrictive in nature will not just increase the amount of cravings you experience, but will also cause nutritional deficiencies, mood swings and irritability.
2. Consume a proper balanced diet which includes all food groups. Do not deprive your body of any foods. Practice portion control and satiate your hunger with every meal.
3. Avoid eating refined carbs in foods like pasta, pizza, burger, deep fried, junk, processed and packaged food. Many people eat comfort food as a way to cope up with stress. Stress causes certain regions of the brain to release chemicals like opiates and neuropeptide Y. These chemicals trigger mechanisms that are similar to cravings that you get from fat and sugar.
4. Avoid eating sugary foods in excess. Luke says that you may satiate your hunger and cravings by eating junk food and sugar, but the need of your cells is still not met. This further increases cravings.
5. Consume sufficient water and stay hydrated. Many a times, the need for drinking water is confused with hunger. If you feel hungry shortly after eating a main meal, it may be because of thirst. Drink a glass of water before looking for food. It will make you satiated and will also reduce cravings.
6. Avoid getting extremely hungry by keeping long gaps between your meals. Practice meal prepping every week and make sure you carry at least three meals for the day before leaving home.
7. Carry health snacking options with you. Instead of going for a chocolate or a bag of chips when you experience cravings, have nuts and seeds, ghee-roasted makhanas, rice puffs, roasted black chana or a seasonal fruit. They will satiate both your hunger and cravings without affecting your health or weight.
8. Get sufficient sleep. Being sleep deprived for even one day can increase the amount of cravings you feel the next day. So make sure you get a good night's sleep regularly.
9. Eat mindfully without any distractions. Do not have a phone, tablet, laptop, TV, book or newspaper when you are eating food. Doing this can help you be in sync with your satiety signals and prevent overeating and cravings.
10. Include more protein and fibre in your diet. These foods fill you up quickly, keep you full for longer and control appetite and cravings.
(Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach - Integrative Medicine)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.