Image and great article: https://gymjunkies.com/how-to-fight-food-cravings/
A hungry person will fail at weight loss unless of course they are able to ignore and endure the physical and mental consequences of hunger. Winning the hunger game is all about controlling the hunger. Targeting hunger as an important aspect of managing diabetes, low blood sugar or any blood sugar issue and weight loss will enable successful treatment.
Many people I speak with about weight loss think they have to cut down on calories or live in a state of food deprivation to look good, lose weight or control blood sugar.
The truth is I cannot help anyone “win” the hunger game if they are not fueling up on healthy satisfying food. When battling the bulge or managing health, feeling satisfied and eating to fuel your body is a mandatory requirement because clear thinking and decision making hinges on smart eating, “fueling”.
A recent study of adolescent “breakfast skipping” females found that cravings during the day were reduced by eating breakfast, http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ijo2015101a.html. Therefore in the context of managing cravings, eating is an important tool in attaining a weight or health “nirvana”.
In this crossover study a “normal”(15grams) and high protein (35 grams) breakfast were compared to skipping breakfast. Homovanillic acid (HVA) was measured. HVA is an acid related to levels of dopamine in the “reward/pleasure portions” of the brain. Findings showed an inverse relationship between HVA and cravings. The higher the HVA concentration the lower the craving. “The addition of breakfast led to reductions in food cravings and increases in homovanillic acid, with the high protein breakfast eliciting greater response and a reduction in cravings”.
It has long been known that eating protein quenches frenzied eating. This information reinforces what we already know and helps provide a biological reason behind why skipping breakfast for some people may not be a good idea when trying to avoid hunger or control cravings. Certainly the study results do not fit into the rocket science category. Avoiding meals and depriving nutrients to the body triggers hunger and cravings. Eating a high carbohydrate, low protein breakfast can contribute to the same effect, try upping the protein and lowering carbs then gauge how you feel.
FIVE WINNING HUNGER STRATEGIES
- Put the craving to rest. Keep protein and fat containing foods around you at all times and eat the minute you start to think about food.
- Stay satisfied. Do not eat a snack that will leave you searching for food an hour later. If you need to eat a mini-meal, for example a scoop of tuna salad or sliced mozzarella cheese with tomato drizzled with oil and vinegar, then MANGIA!
- Do not over eat find a “just right” balance between too little and too much.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking soda, coffee and sports drinks that contain water also have dehydrating components like sodium, caffeine, sugar so drinking enough water, even if flavored with lemon…, to stay hydrated and stave off cravings is important.
- Divert emotional cravings with activities other than eating, any hobby, exercise or just calling a friend to say hello.
Winning the hunger game is not easy but it is possible and attainable. Nourish your body (physically and emotionally), cravings disappear, appetite is controlled and you win!