How to avoid food cravings to lose weight is an important question for many slimmers who are (usually) on some sort of calorie restricted diet.
Cravings can be particularly prevalent in the first few days and weeks of changing your lifestyle choices and today I want to give you two top tips to keeping the cravings at bay.
Why Do We Get Food Cravings?
Do you want to achieve effective weight loss?
Do you find bad food choices hinder your slimming progress?
Food cravings can be triggered from a variety of factors. Some we can control and others we can’t.
Going to the supermarket on an empty stomach, walking past the bakery aisle, past the cream cake cooler or past the chocolate aisle when hungry will more likely trigger a craving and a ‘quick snack for the journey home’ than if you were to plan ahead and consume a pre-shopping healthy protein and nutrient-rich snack.
The solution in this case is to avoid the situation and plan ahead, plan a list, or at least have a topped-up tummy before your food shopping trip.
I know from experience that if I shop on an empty stomach I end up with a lot less quality food in the trolley than if I plan my shop, and I have been known to succumb to the odd apple turnover on occasions where I am literally starving at the checkout after a workout, bike ride or a mismanaged day.
Advertising of junk food through the media bombards us with messages of buy this, eat that, and can result in associating a certain product with feelings of contentment, or even happiness.
Adverts are in fact very clever and although some are more subtle than others, they all contribute to the message that we need to eat highly palatable and addictive junk food.
Incidentally what I find even more frustrating is the confusion advertising campaigns create for the consumer. More often than not touting unhealthy products as healthy because they have ‘added B vitamins’ or ‘reduced fat’ or ‘no artificial colors’.
I mean, so what? If the food really was healthy it would not need added vitamins because the existing ones would still be in tact in their natural form, and won’t have been pummeled into oblivion!
Common deficiencies in the general population include:
- Protein deficiency
- Vitamin and mineral deficiency
- Omega 3 fat
For improved health, body composition (weight loss) and performance proper nutrition is the key.
Apart from avoiding adverts, planning ahead and having mental will power, cravings may be a sign of a lack in nutrients. Your body might be craving more food because the calories that you are ingesting are not provoding you with nutrient density – a fundamental of any good diet.
Commonly omega 3 fats found in fish oils could be lacking, or it may well be that you need an added antioxidant, vitamin or mineral boost.
In particular B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, vitamin D and omega 3 fats are all lacking in the average western diet. This can present itself in sub-optimal health and also in cravings.
As insurance against a sub optimal diet it might be worth considering supplementation with food supplements. This guide on what supplements you should take – if any – is a good starting point.
Avoid Food Cravings
Avoid food cravings by ensuring you consume a nutrient rich diet of fresh vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, fruit, nuts and seeds. I often recommend consuming an ‘insurance’ multivitamin and mineral supplement. Modern farming has resulted in less omega 3 and micro nutrients in our foods so I also personally consume omega 3 supplements.
- Don’t restrict or diet if you’re trying to lose weight – take a look at this weight loss cheat sheet below.
- Consider a multivitamin and mineral supplement.
- Consider omega 3 fish oil supplement.
- Plan ahead and try to avoid shopping when hungry.
Good luck with this, and if you are having issues with cravings and you feel they will hinder your weight loss progress then please do let me know. You are welcome to share this article too if a friend would find it useful.
Have a great day, Nico.