Tag Archives: tips for weight loss

Bring an end to those Cravings

food cravingYou are walking down the road, watching a movie or working at your desk and suddenly the craving hits: Chocolate, Chips or something spicy. You have been trying to stick to healthy eating all week but still the craving is so strong….. A couple of chips won’t harm, will they? The craving grows strong with each passing minute and you soon start searching for it everywhere.

Many dieters believe that craving is a signal their bodies need the nutrients that food provides. But it is more a psychological thought rather than a physiologic need. A craving for chocolate, for example, would signal a physiologic need for sugar or antioxidants. But there are other foods which are better and healthier sources of sugar and antioxidants. However you do not crave for those foods.

So what could be the possible cause of these cravings?

When people follow overly restrictive diets or completely cut out groups of foods, cravings can develop out of deprivation. These can lead to a vicious cycle of indulging, overeating and guilt. A diet that allows small amounts of foods you love to have be it high-fat or high-calorie, will be easier to maintain since you are not eliminating that food completely from your diet.

Here are few tips to prevent or handle food cravings:

  • Put your craving off. Give yourself a little time before you completely give in to the temptation. Food cravings are typically short-lived, and while the desire for chips, chocolate, or cake feels overwhelming at that particular moment, it will decline, especially if you can distract yourself with a phone call or some pending job or a glass of water or some healthier substitute.
  • Choose alternatives for your cravings. If you are in love with potato chips and miss them dearly, buy a brand that is low-fat or low in sodium. If you think that you crave chips because you feel like munching something crunchy, skip the chips: try fruit or a salad packed with crisp greens and veggies. Want something sweet? How about baking an apple pudding (minus sugar) or trying out carrot kheer? If you crave chocolate, keep some dark chocolate on hand. Dark chocolates are low in sugar and high in phytochemicals that may aid in the prevention of heart disease. But remember moderation is the key here. When looking for dark chocolate, read the label to make sure that cocoa is the first ingredient on the list rather than sugar.
  • Buy single servings of foods you crave. Instead of buying a whole box of your favorite food, buy minimum possible quantity.
  • Schedule your snacks. Plan for nutritious snacks to prevent in-between meal hunger. Keep portable, healthy snacks in your desk or car.
  • Be Selective: Whenever you go out for a party and before you begin eating, check out all of the options and choose the foods that you really want to eat. If everything looks tempting and delicious, have a small sample of different foods to satisfy your craving.
  • Keep a craving journal. Note the time of day your craving appeared, how long it lasted, the food you craved, and how you handled the situation. This way you will start noticing patterns so you can be better prepared to handle cravings in the future.

Craving is more of a psychological response of a deprived empty mind and it can be efficiently counteracted by diverting the mind as well as preventing deprivation of your much-loved foods.

 

Weight loss Quick Fixes

It is rightly said that there are no short cuts to weight loss. But certain tips can come handy in losing weight as well as crossing the dreaded weight plateau. Do try these and share your experiences….

Eat Slowly: Stretch your meals to, at least, 20 minutes or longer. Our stomach, mouth and brain are all connected and it takes 20 minutes of eating before the stomach signals our brain that I am done. If you tend to eat very fast try to concentrate on chewing; it will help you in slowing down.

Water: Drinking 8 glasses of water a day is important for our health and it will also help in losing weight. Water is necessary for the metabolism of your stored fat. Also, we sometimes perceive thirst as hunger. So whenever you feel hungry have a glass of water, wait for 5 minutes….still hungry, grab a fruit or a munchy salad.

Add herbs and spices: Some of us feel that cutting down on fat can rob the food of its taste. Add the flavor back with herbs and spices like vinegar, garlic, cilantro, thyme, asparagus, etc. Experiment with different herbs and spices until you get the flavour right.

Increase your intake of fiber rich foods. They will help fill you up faster and for longer time. Fiber also helps in lowering the glycemic index of foods.

Never skip a meal, especially breakfast. The first meal of the day starts our metabolism, it then speeds up for about eight hours and then starts slowing down. If you skip breakfast the metabolism will not speeden until lunch time. Doing this you miss out on 3-4 hours of fat burning time.

Metabolism also slows down whenever hunger sets in. Stay full with healthy, nonfattening foods and your metabolism will continue to burn the stored fat as fast as your body will allow.

Exercise is probably the most important key to increasing your metabolism and burning off excess fat. Research shows that you burn more stored fat for energy when you do aerobic exercises on an empty stomach than on a full stomach. Research also shows that you burn more stored fat when you exercise late in the day rather than in the morning. Thus, the best time to exercise to lose weight by burning your stored fat is in the late afternoon/early evening before dinner. Twenty to thirty minutes of exercise in the evening will not only burn stored fat but it will also increase your metabolism.

Be positive: The more positive your self-esteem, the better you feel about yourself, the faster and easier it will be for you to lose weight. Negative emotions will also interfere with your weight loss program. It is difficult to stay motivated to lose weight when you feel bad. Overeating often accompanies negative emotions such as depression, anxiety, fear, guilt and anger. If this is true for you, begin a stress management program including some exercise and relaxation exercises.

It is bad being at the wrong side of your weighing scale…. trying not to be at the right side is worse even. So keep trying and you will definitely reach your goal.