While many things can wreck even the most well-intentioned diet, few can do as much damage as food cravings. A craving for a particular food or group of foods has sabotaged many a dieter, and many people, unfortunately, look at giving in to such cravings as a reason to abandon their diet, exercise, and weight loss program altogether.
It is crucial to keep in mind, therefore, that food cravings are, and probably always will be, a part of any diet. Cravings for foods high in sugar, fat, salt, and calories will no doubt still be around, and it is important for anyone who wants to maintain a healthy weight long term to understand how to deal with, and resist, cravings.
In order to properly deal with those inevitable food cravings, it is vital to understand the factors that go into these cravings. The triggers for these food cravings are many, and it is important to know where they come from in an effort to effectively deal with them.
Some of the most common causes of food cravings have nothing to do with hunger and everything to do with emotion. The emotions play a vital role in feelings of hunger and food cravings, and it is important to recognize these emotional triggers in order to maintain a healthy eating plan. Some of the emotional triggers for food cravings include:
- Stress and anxiety
It is important to examine those food cravings as they come. If any emotional triggers are recognized, it is essential to take the steps needed to deal with the underlying problem.
Of course, emotions are not the only causes of food cravings, and some cravings are physical in nature. One of the most common physical reasons for food cravings is caused by a diet that is too restrictive. Diets that strictly limit or eliminate entire food groups can naturally lead to cravings for those forbidden foods. If that is the problem, merely enjoying those foods in moderation may relieve the cravings and save the diet.
Low blood sugar can also trigger food cravings, and it is important for those with diabetes or other conditions that affect blood sugar levels to carefully monitor their blood sugar, and consult their physician before embarking on any new diet plan. Even for those with normal blood sugar, it is crucial to look for signs of low blood sugar, not only food cravings but also weakness and moodiness.
Fortunately, there are ways to deal with food cravings, no matter what the emotional or physical triggers of those cravings. One of the simplest ways to deal with those cravings is to simply eat a well-balanced diet day after day and year after year. Eating the foods you like, in moderation, is one of the best ways to keep those cravings for sugar, salt, and fat-laden foods at bay.
Avoiding high sugar foods as much as possible is also an excellent way to prevent food cravings. Foods that are high in sugar content can cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels, followed by just as fast a crash. Limiting these high sugar foods is an excellent way to keep cravings to a minimum, while at the same time cutting calories
Enjoying plenty of healthy sleep is another great way to maintain a healthy body and a healthy eating plan. Being well-rested has been shown to have a real effect on food cravings and overall health.