Control Food Cravings
So you’ve made the decision to start eating healthier. Unfortunately, other factors in your life may not be conducive to better eating. If you’re too busy, you will most likely be tempted to give in to fast food. A little bit of planning can help you stick to your new healthy eating plan.
Traditional eating habits have taken the 3-meal form, which is not necessarily the healthiest option. With the lack of attention paid to proper portion sizes, many people eat two to three servings per meal rather than the necessary one. The body is unable to handle all of those calories in one sitting. Instead of bombarding your body three times a day, spread out your meals. This does not mean eat more of the traditional meal; instead eat very small meals five to six times per day. These meals should consist of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Talk to your doctor about proper portion sizes to ensure that this change does not counteract your desire to lose weight. The purpose of spreading your meals throughout the day is to keep from experiencing those intense hunger pangs that often lead to binge eating. Keeping a food journal will help you keep track of how much you have eaten each day, and to recognize moments of deviation in order to quickly correct them.
One medical study showed a correlation between weight gain and dining out. According to a 2005 study by the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona food cravings associated with fast food played an important part in weight loss issues. The way to control fast food cravings includes changing your daily routine by taking a homemade lunch to the office. Try starting a brown bag lunch club at work to keep the social interaction while cutting out the temptation. Food triggers–situations that trigger your cravings–can be modified. A 20-minute workout three or four times per week can help control your cravings-especially if you can get a workout in when you feel your food triggers kicking in. Any situation that makes you crave snacks or sweets can be helped by a burst of physical activity. If you experience your food triggers at work, try taking a break and walking up and down a full flight of stairs or talking a walk around the block.
Pre-portioning your meals can also help you to keep from overeating. Do not guess on portion sizes and do not supplement with outside food. Do supplement with exercise and a full night’s sleep. Tiredness can contribute to food cravings and phantom hunger pangs. If you are up late at night and are suddenly hungry, this is your body’s way of telling you to rest.