Reflect on & adjust your eating behavior to avoid cravings from the start. Here’s some useful tips on how to prevent binge eating & say goodbye to cravings.
Exercise Makes Us Hungry
Our body needs energy. When increasing your training, your appetite will grow too. Hunger is not always a bad sign. If you follow a balanced diet and include more carbohydrates and protein to cover the needs that arise from working out more, your body will benefit from and make the most of the provided food. It needs those substances to keep your muscle mass. However, it’s important to distinguish between appetite (and cravings) from physiological hunger. The craving for sweets can also indicate a lack of amino acid tryptophan, which is contained in cheese, turkey, sweet potatoes or spinach.
Appetite Or Hunger?
Our stomach starts rumbling every four to five hours, except for when we’re sleeping. Hunger signals that our body needs fuel to function properly. Appetite, on the other hand, is different. Even though we might be full, our mouth starts watering when we smell pizza or a chocolate cake catches our eye. Appetite is caused by certain stimuli, stress or bitter principles (in grapefruit or bitter lemon) and should not be mistaken for hunger.
If we just ate when feeling physiologically hungry, overweight would not exist.
All About Hunger & Satiety
When your stomach is empty, the hormone ghrelin is produced and you start feeling hungry. About 20 to 30 minutes after a meal or snack your ghrelin level drops again. This means it takes some time before you actually feel full. If you devour a serving of pasta in 15 minutes, you can’t feel full and will go back for seconds. Take at least 20 minutes to enjoy your meal, chew thoroughly and take some short breaks – this way, you’ll feel pleasantly full without a second serving.
Blood Sugar – What It Does
Foods rich in carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, rice, sweets,…) raise your blood sugar level. The body reacts by producing the hormone insulin, which helps lower the blood sugar level again. The faster your blood sugar goes up, the quicker it drops again. These ups and downs are responsible for cravings. The more fiber contained in a high-carb food, the slower and steadier your blood sugar level will drop.
6 Useful Tips on How to Avoid Cravings
- Make time for your meals! Take your time to eat – 20 to 30 minutes is ideal. Put down your cutlery every now and then & take a sip.
- Drink, but without calories. Water or unsweetened teas are ideal to stay hydrated. Sometimes, we mistake thirst for hunger.
- Combine your meals. Whole grain products and vegetables prevent your blood sugar level from skyrocketing and keep you full longer. Combine them with a portion of protein for a slow and uniform increase.
- Press here against cravings. Lightly press your index finger on the spot between nose and upper lip for about 1 minute, alternating between pressure and release every second. This helps prevent cravings!
- Sweet treats? After your meal! Enjoy your dessert right after the main meal. This keeps your blood sugar level at bay, contrary to a spike caused by sweet snacks in between meals.
- No distractions. Don’t read or watch TV while eating. These distractions make it harder for you to notice if you’re already full.