Everyone knows that cutting back on calories is the most effective way to lose weight, but that is often easier said than done. Unhealthy cravings are hard to resist and they can quickly derail even the most carefully crafted meal plans. Try out these 6 tips to help you curb your unhealthy cravings and meet your weight loss goals.
#1 Food to Curb Cravings: Water
It is easy to mistake thirst for hunger or one of many unhealthy cravings. One of the best ways to curb your unhealthy cravings is to drink a full glass of water and then wait a few minutes. In many cases, this can cause the craving to subside. If you are still craving something after you drink some water, you will know that you are truly hungry and that it is safe to get a healthy snack.
This tip can also be used to reduce overeating during mealtimes. Drinking a glass of water before each meal can help to reduce your appetite, making it easier to eat sensible portions during mealtimes and encourage healthy weight loss. Drinking water is important for many key biological processes, making this a great tip for overall health as well as curbing cravings.
#2 Food to Curb Cravings: High Protein Foods
Eating foods that are high in protein can help to keep you full for longer, helping to curb the unhealthy cravings that tend to crop up during the afternoon and evening. Studies have shown that incorporating more protein in your diet – specifically, increasing it to 25% of your daily calorie intake – can help to reduce unhealthy food cravings by 60%. Including high protein foods in your breakfast can also help to curb nighttime snacking by up to 50%.
#3 Food to Curb Cravings: Spinach Extract
If you include dietary supplements in your regular routine, consider adding a spinach extract supplement to your arsenal. Spinach extract has been shown to help delay the digestion of fatty foods. In turn, this can increase hormones such as GLP-1, something that can reduce your appetite, curb your hunger, and reduce your food cravings. Studies have shown that a 5 gram serving of spinach extract can drastically reduce or even eliminate cravings for sugary foods.
#4 Food to Curb Cravings: Mini Babybel Cheese
While cheese often gets a bad reputation as an unhealthy, high calorie food, it can actually be a great, high protein addition to your afternoon snack. Assuming, of course, that it is consumed in moderation. Mini Babybel cheeses are perfect for this since they come in individually wrapped, pre portioned servings.
Pair your single serving of cheese with a few whole grain crackers or an apple for a filling, low calorie snack that will keep you full until your next meal. As an added bonus, apples and other fruits are high in potassium. Many adults are potassium deficient, so adding a high potassium snack to your daily routine can have benefits far beyond curbing your cravings.
If a low fat piece of cheese is not your thing, consider pairing your apple with a handful of lightly salted almonds or other nuts. This can satisfy your salt cravings while providing you with a filling snack that is packed with nutrients and high in protein.
#5 Food to Curb Cravings: Substitute Sliced Veggies for Tortilla Chips
If you are craving a salty snack, consider opting for a salted tomato or a sliced cucumber that is seasoned with salt, lime, and chili powder. These are much healthier options than chips or pretzels but they can still help you satisfy your craving for a salty snack.
If you like to dip your chips in salsa, consider dipping carrots, bell pepper slices, or celery sticks into your favorite salsa. While salsa in an inherently low calorie food, make sure to check the label before you buy premade salsa. Some brands are loaded with sugar, combating your efforts to cut down on your unhealthy choices during snack time.
#6 Food to Curb Cravings: Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt has far less sugar than traditional yogurt but twice as much protein, making it a great choice for those that do not want to give up their fruit and yogurt parfaits. Mix in some berries, chopped nuts, or a little bit of honey or maple syrup. This is a quick and easy way to satisfy your sugar cravings without binging on ice cream or chocolate.
By incorporating more of these foods in your diet, you can help to curb unhealthy food cravings. Limiting or eliminating unhealthy snacking can make a huge dent in your daily calorie intake, so you will want to do everything you can to make sure that you are making wise choices whenever possible. Opting for high protein, low calorie snack options is the key to curbing cravings and keeping your weight loss goals on track.