Are cravings sinking your success?
Do you find the tantalizing pull of that chocolate bar, those salty chips, or freshly baked bread insatiable?
Is ravenous hankering killing your results in the gym, on the field, or in your weight loss efforts?
Cravings are “an intense, urgent, or abnormal desire or longing.” While you can crave almost anything, we’re specifically talking here about a fancy for food. Because even the best laid plans can be derailed by this unwelcome visitor.
But the good news is there are proven ways to calm cravings and put you back in the driver's seat.
Here are our top 5 craving-killing tips…
Enjoy A Higher Protein Breakfast
Protein is satiating and a full tummy is less likely to desire food. But a higher protein breakfast, in particular, has been shown to crush cravings.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition investigated the effects of consuming no breakfast, a 350 kcal low-protein option (13 grams), or a 350 kcal high-protein (35 grams) choice. The researchers found that eating breakfast reduced post-meal cravings for savory and sweet foods. The higher protein option tended to especially promote an increased reduction in savory cravings.
Another smaller study indicated that an increase in protein at breakfast time appeared to alter brain function, lowering reward-driven eating behavior. When participants consumed a higher protein breakfast (50 grams), brain scans showed a reduction of the neurological patterns linked to hunger and the compulsion to eat.
Hearty sources of protein included grass fed, organic beef and chicken, wild-caught salmon, free-range eggs, cottage cheese, yoghurt, chickpeas, almonds, supplemental whey, with lower amounts found in spinach, kale, broccoli, red bell pepper, and banana.
Photo Credit: Women's Health Magazine
Have you noticed that when you feel tense, your cravings spike? You’re right! Feeling frazzled is a cause of aberrant eating, including cravings and emotional eating.
One study published in the Journal of Health Psychology noted that, “Chronic stress had a significant direct effect on food cravings, and food cravings had a significant direct effect on body mass index.”
In short, ongoing mental strain triggers cravings. Then, those cravings unequivocally increase weight. This is not good news for your waistline or your wellbeing.
To calm stress:
- Practice meditation and mindfulness (our article, How mindfulness and meditation can supercharge your health and life? is a valuable resource)
- Gently exercise (walking, swimming, Tai Chi, and Yoga are great options)
- Lower your caffeine intake
- Laugh, often
- Practice short periods of deep, focused breathing
- Cuddle your pet
- See a counsellor
- Ensure you receive sufficient slumber
Do you bounce out of bed wide-eyed and bushy tailed? Do you feel well rested when you wake? Or do you drag yourself from your bed to the kitchen and wait for the coffee to kick in?
Poor sleep increases food cravings, especially for fast food...
But, as recent research showed, “Better sleep efficiency was associated with less food cravings.” The researchers also found that sleeping well increased a desire for fruit and vegetables, while decreasing the longing for unhealthy choices.
To improve your sleep:
- Enjoy bright sunshine early in the morning
- Ensure your bedroom is dark, slightly cool, and quiet
- Opt for a comfortable, supportive mattress, pillow, and bedding
- Take a warm bath 30 - 60 minutes before retiring
- Set a regular sleep-wake routine
- Avoid blue light in the evenings. Computers, smartphones, tablets, eReaders included. Use blue light blocking glasses if you must use these devices
- Limit (or avoid) alcohol
- Sip on Chamomile tea at night
- Practice meditation before or when your head hits the pillow
- If you have symptoms of a sleep disorder, see your doctor. For example, excessive tiredness during the day, a dry mouth, grumpiness, mood swings, abrupt awakenings at night, snoring, and a partner that says you stop breathing during sleep are all possible signs of sleep apnea
Be Mindful Of Your Emotions
Take notice of your cravings. When do they strike? What time of the day? Are there any patterns? Are they associated with emotional upheaval? Boredom? Fatigue?
Identify your triggers. Then take action to prevent them.
Emotional distress? You might benefit from professional support.
Does boredom drive your excess eating? Find a worthwhile activity to fill the gap.
Are you tired? Seek to remedy your exhaustion by addressing its causes.
If you find that you indulge after a bad day, be mindful of the emotions that lead to your cravings. Put in place strategies to prevent the descent into abandon.
Find Healthy Alternatives
Your willpower won’t always win. This is common, human in fact. At these times, take a brisk 10-minute walk as this has been shown to calm cravings. In case this doesn’t work for you, ensure you have health alternatives readily available.
Think about what type of food you crave…
Are you a sweet tooth? Have fresh apples, dates, and berries available.
Do chips whet your appetite? Try a handful of nuts, homemade zucchini chips, or carrot slices.
Could you down a loaf of bread in one ravenous episode? Sweet potato flatbread or cauliflower bread may soothe your appetite.
Photo Credit: Food Spring
Supplement with HyperBurn
Science-backed, targeted supplementation is a secret hack to short circuit cravings.
HyperBurn is designed to calm cravings by soothing its triggers. Capsicum and bitter orange extract naturally suppress the appetite. L-theanine promotes relaxation and a better mood. Huperzine A and lean GBB boost your energy. L-carnitine tartrate and acetyl-l-carnitine regulate blood sugar. As an added bonus, these ingredients also support healthy fat loss.
As Joanne S from the United States said, “I notice my appetite is suppressed throughout my work day. I also notice when it’s around the evening, when I’m usually dragging, I’m more upbeat. Pretty stoked!”
Get started on HyperBurn now.
Cravings can derail your health, contributing to poor mood, guilt, and failure. Yet, with the right steps, you can win the battle.
Enjoy a higher protein breakfast, calm your stress, prioritize your sleep, be mindful of your emotions, find healthy alternatives for the danger times, and supplement with HyperBurn.
It is possible to calm your cravings and take back control of your life and your health. These steps will help you to succeed!