How to Curb Food Cravings

Try these effective tips to keep cravings for unhealthy foods at bay

(RxWiki News) Cutting sugary, salty and fatty foods from your diet is a great way to improve your health. But what happens when the cravings strike?

If you're trying to avoid unhealthy but tasty foods, cravings are almost certainly going to pop up.

You don't have to give in. To fight back against cravings for unhealthy foods, try these tips:

1. Focus on Fiber and Protein

When you make sure you're getting plenty of fiber and protein in your diet, you're reducing the likelihood that a craving for an unhealthy food will pop up in the first place.

That's because both fiber and protein can make you feel fuller for longer, reducing the chance that hunger will creep up on you and make you reach for a donut.

2. Get Rid of the Foods You're Craving

One of the best ways to resist temptation when it comes to unhealthy foods is to remove the temptations from your home. Think about it: If you have a food you're trying not to eat in your cabinet or fridge, you're much more likely to give in when you're craving that food.

So, take care to remove foods you're trying to avoid from your home. Sure, you could drive out to the store and purchase those foods, but the more steps you put between you and the food craving, the more likely you are to resist the temptation.

3. Take a Walk

It doesn't have to be a walk, but do something — preferably something physical — to get your mind off of the food you are craving.

A walk around the block is a great way to get your blood pumping and take your mind off of unhealthy foods, but you can also try taking a shower, reading a book, calling a friend, going to the gym or whatever works best for you.

4. Don't Get Too Hungry

Just because you're trying to avoid certain foods doesn't mean you have to be hungry all the time. In fact, you should do your best to never get too hungry.

Why? Because you're more likely to give in to food cravings when you're really hungry. So, eat plenty of healthy food to keep yourself from ever reaching extreme hunger.

5. Improve Your Sleep

Some research has shown that a lack of sleep can lead to disruptions in hormones that lead to strong food cravings. That means your bedroom is one of your best tools in your fight against food cravings.

Do everything you can to get plenty of sleep at night. That might include going to bed and waking up at particular times each day, turning off screens an hour before bedtime, avoiding caffeine and many other steps.

If you're struggling to sleep at night, reach out to your health care provider.

6. Reduce Your Stress

Stress may trigger cravings for unhealthy foods, according to past research. That's in addition to simply being bad for your physical and mental health in general.

That means there's plenty of good reason to reduce your stress. That can be easier said than done, but keep trying new methods until you find what works for you.

You might try yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, exercise, therapy, medications or any number of other stress-reducing tactics. And if you are struggling to find something that works for you, reach out to your health care provider for help.