When the afternoon rolls around in the office, many individuals find themselves craving a bag of chips or lots of candy and chocolate. When grocery shopping on an empty stomach, many make the mistake of walking down the chip and chocolate aisles when they are at their weakest to resist temptation. The desire for certain foods is all too commonâeveryone has them occasionally, though some do get them more than others. But do you know why our bodies crave sugar and salt? Or how to overcome them without overindulging? It's time to pull the curtain back and learn about the surprising ways to fight sugar and salt cravings, tied into what causes them in the first place.
Drink Lots Of Water
One of the most popular reasons behind a craving for something salty like chips, instant noodles, or salted nuts, is dehydration. Ironically, too much salt can often cause dehydration, particularly if you do not drink lots of water and other hydrating beverages, such as sports drinks. Thus, one of the first things to try to fight back against a craving for something salty is to grab a glass and head to the tap. Drink a glass or two of water, not too quickly of course, and you might be surprised at how the craving for salt disappears. Make sure to keep drinking water, herbal tea, or similar beverages throughout the day to avoid becoming dehydrated again. The craving may return, but this time you will know it's not because of dehydration.
Continue reading to discover why complex carbohydrates are the answer to sugar cravings.
Eat Complex Carbohydrates
Just as dehydration often results in cravings for something salty, a lack of carbohydrates can make cravings for sugar skyrocket. Thus, to fight back against these particular cravings, eating carbohydrates is in order. However, in the interest of remaining healthy, reach for complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, green vegetables, whole grain bread and pasta, as well as beans, lentils, and peas. These provide the body with energy that lasts longer than what simple carbohydrates give, as well as many other vitamins and nutrients. Many sweet treats, such as donuts, are full of simple carbohydrates, but the body burns through them much faster. Besides, the entire point is to fight against caving into sugar cravings!
Continue to learn how eating regular meals helps curb unhealthy cravings for sugar and salt.
Don't Skip Meals
There is no denying itâchocolate, chips, and candy taste downright delectable. So when most individuals get incredibly hungry, it is no wonder the most popular cravings are for sugar and salt. Thus, the trick to fighting back against overindulging in these cravings is to avoid getting that hungry in the first place, which of course means not skipping meals. Countless individuals live busy lives, but skipping meals to save time to get other tasks done is not the answer. Even if you are not feeling incredibly hungry at the typical lunch or dinner time, it is still important to eat at least a little something to avoid becoming ravenous, and being powerless to stop sugar and salt cravings, later.
Continue reading to learn how incorporating small snacks into your day works wonders in the long run when it comes to fighting unhealthy cravings for sugar and salt.
Incorporate Snacks Throughout The Day
Not skipping meals is a good first step to fighting back against sugar and salt cravings, but sometimes it might not be enough, particularly if you are a busy individual and your meals are spaced far apart during the day. But thankfully, this is why snacks were invented! Start planning what you are going to want for snacks when you are doing your weekly grocery shopping trip. Then, prepare snacks either the night before or before you leave the house in the morning. Obviously, choosing healthy options such as sliced strawberries, baby carrots, or even sliced apples and natural peanut butter is ideal, but there is nothing wrong with occasionally snacking on treats like chocolate covered raisins. Just remember to practice portion control to avoid overindulging!
But what happens if you eat regularly and still have cravings for sugar and salt? Wait it out, of course! Continue reading to find out why.
Wait Fifteen Minutes
Research indicates the average cravings, regardless of what it is, typically lasts only fifteen minutes before subsiding. This is, of course, if it's not due to a factor such as dehydration, in which case the craving will last until the individual experiencing it rehydrates. So the next time a craving for sugar or salt hits, try waiting for fifteen minutes for it to subside. Think about something else during that time or switch tasks. You may very well be surprised at how quickly the craving disappears. Of course, the key to this working is to refocus your mind to not think about the craving for fifteen minutes straight. If you sit there only thinking about how much you want something sugary or salty, it will not disappear!
Continue reading to learn why understanding what caused the craving for sugar or salt is part of the key to fighting it.
Identify The Trigger
Aside from physical reasons behind sugar and salt cravings, such as being dehydrated, the reasons individuals crave these foods could be virtually anything, and it all depends on the person. If you are prone to getting these cravings, it is worth it to keep note of your thoughts and feelings when the cravings strike. At a certain point, you may be able to identify a pattern. Sometimes the key isn't in fighting the craving, but in addressing the underlying cause itself. Similar to how when someone falls ill, it is important to think about the cause rather than just trying to tackle an individual symptom. This strategy goes beyond identifying the trigger, of course, but the way to deal with the trigger varies significantly, since as stated, the trigger changes depending on the individual in question.
Uncover more tips for overcoming sugar and salt cravings now.
Go For A Walk
When you start to feel hungry, instead of going to the cupboard for a snack, go out for a walk instead. The walk will take your mind away from your cravings, and it may even get you to focus on your health instead. This mindset of health may also help convince you to avoid the snacks when you get back.
If you go for a walk, try to walk at a relatively brisk pace for about fifteen minutes. Not only will this suppress your cravings, but you may also see it helps you lose a couple of pounds and improves the functionality of your vital organs. Bring the others in your household with you to make the experience more fun.
Learn more about mitigating sugar and salt cravings now.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
Drinking a diet soda or reaching for a snack with artificial sweeteners can make us feel like we made a healthy decision. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Eating and drinking items with artificial sweeteners can make us feel confident to grab something sweet with real sugar a little later. It seems to exacerbate the cravings for something sweet instead of satisfying them. Many individuals find the diet products they are using to lose weight are actually only adding to their problem. As such, avoid artificial sweeteners and reach for something healthy instead like water. Use natural sugars to sweeten up your drinks, such as fruit.
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Consume More Protein
When we eat something sweet or salty, our brain sends reward-based feelings that make us feel satisfied when we eat these things. The foods we eat can actually affect these food-based reward centers of the brain. When we eat foods high in protein, such as eggs and lean meat, those parts of the brain feel more satisfied. When we don't get the same satisfaction from snacking, we won't do it as often. When you consume more protein, you will feel full. You won't feel the need to snack.
It's especially important to start your day off with a good amount of protein. A good breakfast can help monitor your hunger and cravings for the rest of the entire day. Try some scrambled eggs or a protein shakes every morning to start off your day.
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Stress eating occurs when individuals reach for a snack in moments of anxiety. It's a way for some individuals to help relieve their overwhelming feelings. We live in a very stressful world, so those who tend to stress may find themselves doing it more often than they'd like to admit. With this in mind, it's important to find ways to reduce your stress throughout the day. Simple things like fidget spinners can help you grab for something else instead of a snack at work. Yoga and meditation have also been known to help reduce stress. If your stress is becoming especially overwhelming, it might be a good idea to speak to a therapist or go to a psychiatrist for medication. When your stress is under control, you will notice you're not grabbing for the snacks as often.
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Many of us snack when we find a little free time throughout the day. A busy day will prevent you from having the opportunity to snack. Pack your day with plenty of work and activities so you're too busy to sit down and eat a bag of chips or cookies. During your busy day, keep high-calorie snacks far away from you so you don't get tempted to slow down and indulge. If you find some free time in your day, consider adding something like a trip to the gym to your schedule. If you get busy, you will also help you burn more calories. You may be hungry by the time you get home because of the increased activity, and then it will be time for a healthy dinner.
Sugar and salt cravings may seem impossible to overcome, but all it takes is a little time and some effort. Surprisingly, not a lot of willpower is necessary to avoid giving in to these cravings. Provided you practice the methods discussed, giving into sugar and salt cravings will be a thing of the past.