Difference Between Hunger and Cravings
Hunger is felt physically. Your body tells you that the “tank” is running low or it is already empty and you need to refuel. When you are hungry, your body wants food, regardless of what kind of food it is, it just wants you to eat.
Cravings, on the other hand, is different. You could have just finished your meal and feel full but you still want to have a piece of chocolate cake.
Why Do We Crave for Sweets?
Sweet is the first taste we after since we are born. Eating sweets releases endorphins that calm and relax us, and give a natural “high”. Sweet simply tastes good. We tend to reward ourselves with sugary treats, which makes us crave them even more.
If you give in to your sugar cravings, you’ll be more likely to gain weight, especially if you have a lifestyle that is not so physically active. Lessening your sugar intake is one way to help prevent weight gain.
Ways to Stop Sugar Cravings
Try to eat every 3 to 5 hours. This can help keep your blood sugar stable and helps prevent irrational eating behavior. Meals with longer time intervals increase your chance of having sugary, fatty foods to cut your hunger.
Go with Fresh Fruits
If you find yourself craving for sugar, fresh fruits are a healthier way to satisfy yourself. Along with their sweetness, you’ll also get fiber and nutrients.
Give Yourself a Little
You don’t have to deny yourself from having a sweet treat. Eat what you’re craving but only in a small amount. Enjoying just a little of what you crave can help you avoid feeling denied.
Make Yourself Busy
When sugar craving strikes, do something where you can divert your attention to. You might be craving for sweets because you are bored. Walking or running can help as exercise will release endorphins, which can help turn your craving off.
Get Lots of Protein
Protein helps keep your blood sugar stable and keeps craving at bay. If you eat protein, especially in the afternoon, you will be less likely to reach your cookie jar. During afternoon, your circadian rhythms change as cortisol levels decrease and melatonin increases, the reason why you want to go for something sweet around 2:30pm.
Reduce Your Stress
When you are stressed, you might experience exaggerated craving for a reward, such as some sugar. The brain stress substance tripled the intensity of desire for sweet treats normally triggered by cues for those treats.
It takes discipline to minimize sugar cravings. But if you develop the discipline to lessen your sugar intake, you are helping yourself to be healthier. If you find it difficult to resist sweets, following these tips takes you a few steps closer in reaching your fitness goal.
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