Any time you follow a weight loss plan, you start off with the best of intentions. “I can do this,” you tell yourself, as you review the nutrition and exercise strategy. It totally seems possible, and success is within reach… But then those pesky cravings strike. And they can be so hard to beat!
So what is happening? Why do cravings happen, and what can you do about them?
You’re overthinking it. If you view your weight loss plan as a list of things you can’t eat, guess what your mind will focus on? That’s right; you’ll crave everything on the “naughty” list. Instead, try to view your nutrition plan as a list of healthy foods that will nourish your body, with the understanding that you’ll enjoy the occasional cookie or small dish of ice cream.
You’re distracted. If you eat every meal in front of a screen, you probably aren’t paying attention to hunger and satiety cues. Turning off the smartphone or TV, and focusing on your meal, will help you enjoy it more and register fullness cues.
You’re not sleeping well. Inadequate sleep actually activates your “survival” hormones, which are also related to cravings for high-carb foods and fat storage. Make sure you’re getting eight hours of quality sleep each night, or else that sluggish feeling will prompt a double whammy of cravings and slowed metabolism.
You’re exercising too much. Yes, you can overdo the exercise! Creating a calorie deficit, by burning more calories than you consume, is the typical goal of any weight loss plan. But if you’re pushing yourself too hard at the gym, you might notice overly sore muscles and stronger hunger.
You’re not eating the right balance of nutrients. If you’re hungry very frequently between meals, it could be that you’re not consuming enough protein and fiber. Try adjusting your meals to include more of these nutrients.
If you’ve made the above adjustments and you’re still struggling with cravings, call our office to make an appointment. We should check your weight, activity level, and eating plan to make sure your weight loss plan is realistic for your body type and goals.