Many of us struggle with food addictions, from chocolate to cheese and everything in between. We start with a little piece and then we feel this uncontrollable urge to have more. Even when we know that these foods are laden with sugar, salt and fat we keep falling for their seduction. Below are 7 steps that can help you break free from these unhealthy eating patterns.
- Start your day with a healthy breakfast. Do not skip breakfast, skipping this meal will make you crave junk food, and bypass eating the healthy stuff. Eating within an hour of waking is the first step in cutting cravings.
- Select foods that balance your blood sugar. Beans, green vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, whole grains and eggs help prevent blood sugar dips that can lead to cravings. Plus, the fiber in whole foods helps us feel satisfied for longer stretches of time.
- Consume enough calories from whole, unprocessed food. Eating too little can impair our body’s production of leptin, an appetite-controlling hormone.
- Sleep is key in restoring balance. When we lack a good night’s sleep, we wake up hungry and stay hungry all day. Sleep deprivation makes us tired and we tend to eat more sugary food in an effort to raise our energy levels. We feel hungrier because a single night of sleep deprivation raises Grehlin levels, the “hunger hormone.”
- Exercise helps your body handle stress from cravings and at the same time stabilizes your blood sugar.
- Engage family support. It’s easier to eliminate bad eating patterns if you enlist the whole family. Together you can incorporate the changes more easily. Make it a family affair.
- Enlist friends. Tell a friend what you are doing. Join groups or friends that are practicing the lifestyle you are after. That will keep you encouraged and motivated.