We start losing weight with all the best intentions. Our meals are all planned out, we’re full of optimism and enthusiasm, and we’ve even dug out those running shoes for the first time in forever. Nothing can stop us!
And then out of nowhere, our brains decide that we don’t want that healthy salad. No, suddenly that chocolate bar in the cupboard becomes literally the only thing in the world you want, and you can’t possibly continue on with your life until you’ve eaten it. That’s cravings for you, and don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
So why do we get cravings? Often they’re triggered by the sight or smell of yummy foods, but even just seeing a brand name or just thinking about a particular snack can leave us drooling. But don’t worry too much – It turns out that there might actually be some science behind it!
When we’re hungry, our bodies release a chemical called gherlin, which makes our brain notice food cues more. Research has shown that we’re more likely to respond to those foods that are higher in sugars and fats, probably because these are the things we’re cutting down on in our diet. There have been several studies conducted in which participants were shown pictures of different types of food, and it was unhealthy foods that triggered anticipatory responses, such as salivating, cravings and a desire to eat.
These cravings can be difficult to ignore, and it’s one of the biggest challenges dieters face.
How to deal with cravings
So what can we do about these cravings? There are a few things we can do to help quell those pesky cravings and stay on course with our diet.
- Stay busy – cravings are not a permanent thing. They can hit you like a freight train, but they won’t last forever. One of the most common causes of cravings is boredom, so if you stay busy then you’re less likely to crave something naughty.
- Allow yourself a treat – Completely denying yourself food pleasures will make you more likely to give in to cravings, so allow yourself a treat every now and again. If you’re on a strict diet plan then this might mean having a chocolate shake instead of strawberry one, but if you’re being less strict, then a fun-size chocolate bar doesn’t mean the end of the world.
- Healthy foods can satisfy cravings – you don’t just have to snack on chocolate, crisps or any other unhealthy foods to make those cravings go away. Other foods are high in natural fats and sugars, such as nuts and fruit, and these do an excellent job of satisfying cravings. Obviously you’ll have to eat these in line with any diet plan you’re on.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you give in – we’re all only human at the end of the day, so the odd slip off the diet wagon is natural – just don’t beat yourself up about it. A quick unhealthy snack, in the grand scheme of things, is unlikely to do you much harm. However, there is something known as the ‘what the hell’ effect, in which people who give into cravings think ‘what the hell’ and binge because they think they’ve messed everything up. So if you do give in to cravings, put it behind you and get back on track.
- Choose Shake That Weight – All Shake That Weight products are carefully formulated to contain all the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. It’s this balanced mix of nutrients that helps you stay fuller for longer and battle any cravings. We also have some great low carb snacks that, within the right diet plan, can provide the perfect little treat.
What are your top tips for battling cravings?