Cravings can be incredibly frustrating for anyone wanting to lose weight and adopt a healthier relationship with food.
What many of us don’t realise however is that many of our daily habits could be causing our cravings to be more frequent and intense – making it even harder to make healthy food choices.
To help you curb your cravings for good and feel more comfortable reaching for an apple rather than a bar of chocolate, we have a quick guide to some of the biggest diet mistakes to avoid:
Don’t skimp on breakfast
It has been proven that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day – breaking the nighttime fast and kick-starting our metabolism for the day ahead. However, many of us continue to skimp on breakfast or dodge it altogether, and this can lead to cravings later on in the day.
Even if you’re not hungry it’s important to try to eat something. One study published in the Nutrition Journal showed that overweight participants who ate a breakfast of 350 calories with at least 13 grams of protein had significantly reduced cravings for sweet and savoury foods compared to those who skipped breakfast.
Be mindful of your serving size
If you decide you really cant resist some chocolate or a biscuit, then go ahead and treat yourself, but make sure you don’t eat the whole pack. Findings from a study conducted at Cornell University, U.S showed that eating smaller snack-sized portions of chocolate, apple pie or crisps, creates the same feelings of satisfaction as eating larger portions.
Figure out what your cravings mean
You need to understand why you have certain cravings in order to do something about them. Otherwise you will continue to mindlessly give in whenever a craving hits. Aim to keep a craving journal, either as a notes document in your phone or in a handy jotter to keep in your bag. When you feel a craving coming on, log your emotions – are you tired, anxious, stressed, or simply bored? Recognising your feelings will help you to deal with the causes head on rather than resorting to unhealthy fast food.
Pair your cravings with something healthy
If you constantly satisfy your cravings with unhealthy food, you are failing to give your body the nutrition it needs to feel satisfied. By pairing your cravings with healthy food, such as fruit or kale chips instead of sweets or a pack of Cheese and Onion crisps, you will gradually stop associating a craving with something calorific.