How to Cope with Food Cravings

We all know that a healthy relationship with food is the best way to manage weight, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and avoid serious health consequences like high blood pressure, diabetes, joint pain, and cardiovascular disease. But creating that healthy relationship is an ongoing process that must be closely monitored.

Are your cravings overwhelming you? Below you’ll find 7 bad habits that make your food cravings worse.

Bad Habits that Make Food Cravings Worse

  1. Irregular Eating Habits – Eating at odd hours or with long stretches between meals and snacks creates unbalanced blood sugar levels. This can cause you to crave fatty, sugary, or salty foods in order to experience that post-binge bliss. Eating on a regular basis can maintain steady blood sugar and minimize the risk of energy spikes and troughs.
  2. Automatic Eating – Research has shown that your taste buds lose sensitivity quickly when over exposed. This phenomenon occurs so quickly that often after only 2 or 3 bites of something we’ve already lost the “full experience” of what we’re putting into our mouths. When we continue to eat after that threshold it’s often called automatic eating—eating simply for eating’s sake. Instead try smaller portions of foods that are more flavorful than you normally eat. This will pack a tasty punch and may likely limit your desire to keep eating.
  3. Going Cold Turkey – While some people swear it’s the only way to stop the cravings, depriving yourself of your favorite snacks or meals can backfire. If you constantly feel deprived you’re creating emotional distress that will lead you to find ways of sneak around your self-imposed dietary restrictions. Instead, allow yourself a measured portion of these tasty treats on a regular basis just don’t overindulge.
  4. Keeping Bad Foods Handy – It’s extremely difficult not to give into cravings when those “bad foods” your mind is telling your body it wants are in the kitchen cupboard. Keep those foods out of the house altogether if you can or buy single-serve portions of them to minimize the risk of caving in to your desires.
  5. Idealizing Food – Do you snapchat whatever you’re eating? Do you use Pinterest to accumulate recipes? Are you surrounded by food magazines? These gorgeous (and mentally stimulating) images of fatty, salty, or sweet delicacies can easily overwhelm your sense of determination and resistance to binge eating. Even exposure to “healthy” images can create a mental desire that’s hard to quench. Distance yourself from the idolatry of food—it’s fuel not fantasy.
  6. Using Food as a Reward – We’ve been doing it for generations but using food as a treat or reward for a behavior can be a dangerous motivational tool. Doing so automatically links these foods with the good feelings of accomplishment, pride, and self-respect. Conversely, depriving yourself of these tasty treats mentally equates to feelings of loss, emptiness, and even self-loathing. Instead, focus on the accomplishment itself as the reward or use healthy alternatives like outdoor excursions, get-togethers with family and friends, or mentally stimulating activities (plays, concerts, new books) as rewards.
  7. Shortchanging Your Sleep Routine – Sleep is essential on so many levels and hardly any of us ever gets the proper amount. However, decreased sleep habits have been linked to hormonal imbalances which increase hunger responses and decrease “full” signals your stomach sends to your brain. Most people require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night for optimal bodily functioning so get some shuteye.

Rethink Your Relationship with Food

One of the hardest things to do is to rethink your relationship with food. You’ve learned these habits over years of positive (and negative) reinforcement but conquering your cravings relies on you rethinking how you feel about food. Seeing it as fuel rather than an emotional crutch or a tasty reward can help you live healthier, happier, and may decrease your risk of disease.

Learn more about living a healthier life at www.PureVitalityCenter.com or call us at 310-820-7925 to schedule your health assessment today.

 

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