When your goal is to lose weight or eat healthier, it’s common to experience severe cravings. The last thing you want to do is eat a bag of chips after enjoying a refreshing salad. Yet, this is exactly what happens to dieters. What’s the cause of common slip-ups? Why do people break their diet and start including the wrong foods at the wrong time?
Some people choose eating plans to avoid a health problem, while others use them to aid with weight loss. Little things that you do can derail your dieting efforts, but it’s possible to put an end to these cravings before they start. You can avoid the disappointing mindset of a dietary mess up when you stop making the following mistakes. Statistically, the mistakes below trigger cravings, whether you realize it or not. Fortunately, you can learn to prevent them.
Your Snacking Is Lacking
Diets don’t restrict you from snacking, but there are snacks that are more nutritious than others. A seemingly “filling” snack may induce hunger cravings for sugary or salty treats, depending on what you eat. The ideal snack is a perfect combination of protein and fiber, and doesn’t exceed 200 calories per serving. Fiber works to satiate you, making you less prone to reach for unhealthy treats. Click here to learn about snacks that are 150 calories or less and provide the body with sustenance, as opposed to empty calories.
You Don’t Eat Enough During The Day
It’s easy to while away the evening hours on the couch in front of your TV. Unfortunately, many people equate TV time with snack time, which can lead to overeating. You should ideally consume the majority of your calories during the day, making lunch the largest meal. The reason for this is because limiting food during the day can cause overeating at night. You won’t just eat a larger dinner; rather, you’ll continue snacking after dinner is over. When you eat too much in the evening, it’s common to experience heartburn or digestive discomfort, which can negatively affect sleep. Don’t save up daytime calories for nighttime meals and snacks!
You Don’t Address Your Stress
Mental health plays a larger role in diet than you realize. This isn’t just about willpower; rather, too much stress in the body creates cravings for unhealthy foods. When you cannot control stress, the adrenal glands release cortisol, which amps up appetite and the motivation to eat. When cortisol levels remain high, the person doesn’t often consider what they should eat or if it is approved for their diet. They just eat whatever is in sight because they cannot think straight. Numerous studies found that high stress levels cause people to choose foods that are higher in fats and sugars. The combination of excess stress with high blood sugar levels causes excess ghrelin production, which increases hunger and cravings.
Your Eating Is Too Restrictive
Yes, this is indeed a thing. Some diets require you to eat in an unrealistic way that can not only be incredibly difficult, but also too different from what you know. It’s not a negative thing to eat outside your comfort zone, but restricting too much can cause you to pig out in an unhealthy way. Avoiding sweets, or any sweet ingredient, for the rest of time will cause you to crave sweets and cave very quickly. A reasonable treat here and there will keep you from losing control. Don’t be too restrictive or else you’ll end up in the fridge with cake in your hand and chocolate on your face wondering how you got there.
You Keep Temptations In The House
When you know that a box of cookies is in your cabinet, the mental battle is always on. How long will you survive against the processed temptation? If you are watching TV at night and want a cookie, you’re going to go get it. That cookie may turn into four, which may turn into 10. If you don’t keep temptations in the house, you’re less likely to eat them. If you reach in the cabinet to grab a handful of cashews and see BBQ chips, it’s only a matter of time before you’re licking the chip residue off your fingers. Surround yourself with healthier food options and get rid of any foods that will tempt you to cheat on your diet.