Some cravings for food are actually thirst in
disguise—what we perceive as hunger is really a need to drink
something. You can test this by drinking a large glass of water,
preferably with a slice of lemon, waiting a few minutes and checking
to see if you're still hungry.
Jan Hanson writes
that using products containing sugar alcohols, the "trick" sugars, can
keep sugar cravings alive.
Do not eat corn in any form, including cornstarch,
corn sweetener, cornbread, corn on the cob, as this can bring on a
craving. Much of the sugar in processed foods comes from a corn
base, and if you've been eating a lot of sugar, you could be
allergic to corn.
Emotions can trigger cravings.
Some studies indicate that feeling
deprived of a favorite food may lead to bingeing. Giving in is the
healthier alternative, and the key to giving in is to control the
amount you eat. If possible, buy only an individual serving of the
food you crave. Relax and eat it slowly. Get back on track when the
craving has diminished. Giving in only becomes a problem when it
happens too frequently
Depending on the cause of your
craving, you may be able to divert your attention to something else.
Try eating a low carbohydrate, or no carbohydrate snack, and going
for a walk.
You can fend off chocolate cravings by smelling the
scent of vanilla. Light a vanilla-scented candle, take a whiff of
vanilla extract, or smooth on vanilla-scented hand cream. Research
shows the vanilla bean’s aroma works like chocolate to trigger the
release of serotonin, a brain chemical that boosts mood and
suppresses appetite. Plus, if you use vanilla-scented hand cream,
the coating of cream on your hands will make you less likely to
nibble with your fingers.
The Weight Loss Plateau—If the scale is stuck at the same number for weeks at a time,
you’ve reached a weight loss plateau. Here are some possible reasons
for this and some things you can try in order to break it.
1. Basically, you need to decrease calories and
The more you lose, the less you weigh. The less you
weigh, the fewer calories your body requires.
2. You need to speed up your metabolism.
can sometimes happen when you are not eating enough. Your body thinks that you’re
“starving” it, and has slowed down your metabolism in order to save
the calories. How do you speed up your metabolism?
Increase your activity level, or change the type of activities
you’re doing. Alternate types of exercises. If you’re not lifting
weights, try that 2 or 3 times a week (skip one day between these
workouts). Start small and gradually increase these workouts.
Increasing and maintaining muscle mass helps burn calories and boost
metabolism. If you consider using weights, check with your doctor if
you have any orthopedic or muscular-skeletal conditions.
Count the calories you eat for a few days, and see if this is
enough. If not enough, increase your calories. Also be sure to eat
something about every three hours, and always eat breakfast.
Change the way you eat by alternating your style of eating every
day or every few days. Using the Foods to Enjoy lists, choose a day
of low carbs, a day of high carbs, a day of low calories, a day of
higher calories, a day of low fat, a day of higher fat, a high
protein day, a low protein day, etc. This is a good way of breaking
a plateau that is caused by a slowed-down metabolism.
3. You’re eating too many calories or eating too many high glycemic carbs (or both).
might need to reduce these higher GI carbs and return to eating
lower GI carbs for a while. You might also need to count your
calories for a few days to see if you are consuming too many of the
higher calorie foods, such as nuts, cheese, oils, salad dressings,
olives, etc. Cut back on these.
4. You're not eating
Increase your consumption of
high fiber foods. Also increase your water intake as well,
especially if your increased fiber intake is from whole grains.
5. You’re in a rut, eating the same foods most of the time.
eating different foods. Introduce foods that you have never eaten
before. You could even try eating something “bad” once a week. I
read on a Web site where one lady ate a Burger King hamburger once a
week, and it broke her plateau! However, this would not be good on a
long-term basis, and might not work for everyone. And maybe a healthier “good” food would work better
for you that a “bad” food. Just do something different!
6. Keep a food diary.
Write down absolutely everything you
consume, and the amounts, including drinks. Do you see any patterns?
Certain times of the day, certain foods, eating with certain people?
Do you eat when stressed? Are you cheating? Have you stopped paying
attention to portion sizes? Evaluate and make changes as needed.
7. Check with your doctor.
medications and health problems can interfere with weight loss
and/or weight maintenance.
Sit up straight! It not only flattens out your belly,
it also opens up your circulation, making it easier for your heart
Take deep breaths. This increases circulation and
reduces anxiety-related stress on the heart.