Tips to Stop Food Cravings
As human beings, we are naturally driven by our hunger hormones to eat in order to survive. Unfortunately, some people have food cravings that go beyond what their hunger hormones dictate.
Many people give in to their food cravings without any hesitation. This can develop into an unhealthy and unfortunate habit. Instead of eating when they are hungry, they may eat every time they feel the urge to eat something they enjoy.
In this case they are not feeding their body what it needs, but simply giving their taste buds what they want, to the detriment of their overall health.
Some people have difficulty distinguishing emotional eating from real hunger. If you are one of the many who find it hard to curb your food cravings, try some of the following to help control your eating.
Add some vinegar to your recipes.
You can use either red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar as an appetite suppressor. Studies show that vinegar can help improve digestion by allowing the food to stay in the stomach longer. This way, the hunger hormone ghrelin will be suppressed, making you feel fuller for a longer period. Vinegar is also beneficial for preventing sugar spikes that usually occur after having a meal, thereby staving off signs of further hunger pangs.
Try acupressure on your earlobes.
Acupuncturists have used this technique for centuries to help people restore their energy balance. Research reveals that people who use acupressure as part of their weight loss program are able to maintain their ideal weight better, compared to those who do not use acupressure techniques.
All you have to do is gently massage your earlobes to stimulate the pressure points.
Make your dining room and kitchen color blue.
If you use a blue plate on a blue table, together with other table wares of the same color, you will be less likely to crave more food. Blue is not associated with food but it is more linked to objects that cannot be eaten. Therefore, if you put more of this color in your eating area you will have a better chance at stopping your food cravings.
On the other hand, orange, yellow and red are colors that signify delicious foods so avoid using these colors in your kitchen or in your table settings! Have you ever noticed what color McDonald’s is? The big yellow ‘M’ says, come in and eat as much as you can!
Brush your teeth before and soon after eating.
The minty taste of your toothpaste will help curb your appetite. The taste of toothpaste will remain in your mouth for a while. Therefore, if you eat soon after you have brushed your teeth, you will not be able to fully appreciate the taste of your food. This suppressed appetite will help with mindful eating and reduce gorging behaviors.
Light vanilla scented candles.
At home or work, try lighting vanilla scented candles and expose yourself to the scent all day. Desensitizing your sense of smell will help reduce hunger triggers. This works the same as if you cook all day or smell food cooking all day and get so used to the smell you don’t feel like eating it when it is ready. This is because you feel full after smelling the food continuously.
Make sure your dining area has bright lights.
Dimly lit rooms will exacerbate your food cravings. This is why it would be best to replace your lightings with 100 watt-bulbs or equivalents to ensure that your dining room is brightly lit. (Make sure your fixtures are capable of handling 100-watt bulbs).
This is why restaurants have dimly lit eating areas. They want you to eat and they don’t want to curb your appetite!
Got a craving? Stop and wait fifteen minutes.
Once you feel the urge to grab any food you crave, take the time to pause and let fifteen minutes pass. Studies have shown that most cravings will be diminished if not eliminated after fifteen minutes.
Most eating behavior that is related to food cravings can be attributed to a lack of mindfulness. This is why the fifteen-minute pause is so successful. Before thoughtlessly eating whatever has tempted your fancy, consider whether you are really hungry or if it is simply an appetite response.
Even if you feel you must eat something to quieten the demons within, again take the time to pause, make a better food choice, and determine your portion size before you start to eat. Make this a habit for the rest of, and the good of, your life.