You have your eating plan and exercise regimen all laid out, and you’re making progress toward your goals… And then cravings strike. If you find yourself experiencing frequent hunger, particularly with regard to craving unhealthy foods, this can become a major pitfall for your weight loss plan. Since willpower will only take you so far, we suggest identifying the reasons behind your cravings, so that you can combat them proactively by addressing the source of the problem.
You’re very active. We cut calories through diet, while increasing calorie burn through exercise, in order to create the calorie deficit that is needed to trigger weight loss. But when you’re very active, your body is going to respond with hunger to replace those burned calories. If you’re experiencing very regular cravings, satisfy your hunger with a protein-rich snack rather than the sugary dishes you’re probably craving.
Your sleep is inadequate. Proper sleep helps to regulate the hormones that control appetite. But when that sleep is disrupted, so are your hormones. This can lead to cravings, particularly for sugar which provides a temporary energy boost. Address the sources of your sleep problem, and take the necessary steps to improve the situation. Remember that sleep is an investment in your health, just like a healthy diet or regular exercise.
You eat in front of a screen. If you’re distracted by a TV or phone screen during meals, your brain won’t register satiety cues as readily. This leads to less satisfaction, and a greater likelihood of cravings in between meals. When you practice mindful eating (paying attention to your meals and appreciating each bite) you will feel more full and less prone to distracted snacking.
You aren’t eating enough protein and fiber. Fiber contributes to feelings of fullness, while protein is digested slowly. This prevents sharp blood sugar spikes and crashes, which tend to trigger cravings (and mood swings and energy slumps). If you’re experiencing these symptoms, try eating more protein and fiber at each meal or snack.
With regard to the proper nutritional balance for weight loss, call us to schedule a consultation. We can review your diet and make recommendations for changes, so that you can reach your health goals without suffering from regular cravings.