5 Little-Known Methods to Curb Food Cravings
Let’s face it, food cravings are something all of us struggle with at times, but for some it’s a daily battle with potentially serious long-term health consequences. Craving a favorite sweet, salty, or fried treat is a normal sensation, and when it happens from time to time it usually doesn’t end up being a health issue. The problem is when food cravings get so intense and frequent that they contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle. That’s when chronic inflammation, diabetes, and other health issues can show up in the body.
Cravings fuel an imbalance in the body, so strong at times that it can take over the ability our assert self-control. The “I’ll just have one bite” inner dialogue turns into eating half the cake, half a box of cereal, or the entire pizza. If this is you, resist the urge too feel ashamed. This happens to a lot of us! These episodes can wreak havoc on both our physical and emotional well-being.
The good news is that curbing food cravings can be done. You can rein these cravings in, while getting your overall health back on track at the same time. Yes, it is achievable!
Here are six game-changing ways to curb food cravings that you may have never considered before. These are tips that you can start to implement today, that will also benefit you in other areas of your life.
5 Game-Changing Ways to Curb Food Cravings
#1 Laughter Yoga
Now, chances are, you’ve done some stretching at some point in your life. Perhaps a few yoga classes here or there? Or maybe yoga is a regular part of your exercise and self-care routine. But, have you ever tried laughter yoga? Laughter yoga involves stimulated laughter exercises along with specific breathing techniques. The goal is to teach the body how to laugh without the use of humor. It’s a super fun way to practice yoga, and many people leave a laughter yoga class feeling a surge of positivity that they can bring into all areas of their lives.
So, how can this help control food cravings? Well, it’s all about the endorphins and serotonin rush! Laughter allows the body to release these feel-good hormones and laughing while moving your body into fun shapes, and breathing is even more powerful, allowing you to “play” and have more fun, which will elevate your mood! With increased happiness, comes an increased ability to control cravings, increase digestive function, and laughing also increases oxygen delivery to different parts of the body. The better your mental and physical state, the more in control you will be when it comes to your food choices.
Mindfulness just means awareness of the present moment. It's a helpful trigger that enables many to overcome different challenges that come up on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes something as simple as stopping where you are and what you are doing, being mindful of your present environment (as opposed to worrying about the future or past) and just breathing through a food craving is all you need to rein it in.
Next time you are craving that sugary donut of piece of chocolate cake, take a moment to just pause and do some breathing exercises. Acknowledge that the craving is happening, allowing it to happen while taking some calm deep breaths, while leaving self-deprecating negative thoughts aside and letting the thoughts about the cravings come and go. Sometimes all we need is a moment to stop what we are doing and breathe. By not beating ourselves up for having cravings, and actually allowing those feelings to just exist, it can help us move past them and not act upon them. Give it a try next time that sweet craving kicks in. It’s a tool you can implement in many areas of your life, not just as it relates to food cravings.
Try drinking a tall glass of water when the craving hits. Many times our bodies are on autopilot and when we feel hunger and cravings, we immediately open the refrigerator. Retrain your brain to grab a tall glass of refreshing water and drink that before eating the sugar or salt. Wait for about 20 minutes after drinking the water. Chances are, you were just thirsty. If you’re still hungry after 20 minutes, indulge in a healthy snack.
#4 Get Those Oils Going
If you have yet to try essential oils, this is a great way to get started... A study found that smelling non-food odors helped eliminate chocolate cravings. Jasmine, rose, or Melissa essential oils were found to be particularly helpful. So, next time your food cravings come on strong, get some Jasmine, rose, or Melissa essential oil diffusing or rub them behind your neck — it may just do the trick.
Acupressure can be super helpful for so many different things like stress, anxiety, and yes, even reducing food cravings. Acupuncturists use particular techniques to help balance out what they refer to as “blockages” that may be causing food cravings. To practice one these techniques yourself, try pinching your nose and earlobes and hold for 10 seconds.
The Bottom Line
Whether you suffer from frequent, persistent, or just downright irritating food cravings from time to time, there are things you can do to better control them and focus on other things.
Try implementing some of these alternative tips to rein in your cravings and get better control of your food choices. Sometimes all it takes is a new approach to make an impact. So, next time those cravings come on strong, try using some acupressure points, get the oil diffuser running, take some deep breaths, and use those techniques you learned in your laughter yoga class. Any one of these tips and tricks may be what you need to move past the cravings, and get your health back on track.