It has been 5 weeks since I began my 2017 journey to lose weight and adopt a a healthy lifestyle. So far, I have only lost 15 pounds.
I know that doesn’t sound like a lot of weight to lose over the course of a month, and, to be honest, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs this past month. One thing that I’ve had particular difficulty in achieving is consistency. I will do really well sticking to my diet for a day or two, and then I tend to give in to food cravings and take two steps back for each one I advance.
Tricks to Deal with Food Cravings
Food cravings are an obstacle most of us have to deal with when we are trying to lose weight. Over the past few weeks, I’ve discovered the following tips that are helping me to be able to maintain my resolve.
Drink Lots of Water
Water is the single ingredient that composes most of our body tissues. When we don’t drink enough water through the day, our bodies can not perform at their best. Dehydration, headaches and food cravings are common when you don’t drink enough water through the day.
When you are dieting, your body also has a greater need for water to help your kidneys and other organs process and eliminate the waste by-products that are created as you burn fat during weight loss. Drinking water can also help your stomach feel more full, as well as cause the fiber that is present in the foods that you eat to expand, which also increases your sense of fullness and decreases your appetite.
Typically, I take the pounds that I weigh, and divide by half to come up with the number of ounces of water that I try to drink throughout the day. For example, I now weigh 260 pounds, so I am trying to drink 130 ounces of water each day, which is a little over 4 quarts of water.
Brush Your Teeth After Every Meal and Snack
Many people brush their teeth after every meal, but neglect to do so after having a snack. When you fail to brush your teeth after eating, it leaves small food particles in your mouth that stimulates your body to produce extra saliva to help digest these small bits of food that are left behind. Brushing your teeth reduces the amount of saliva that you produce between meals, which can help you to control your appetite and maintain your willpower to resist food cravings.
Skip the Chewing Gum and Hard Candies
Do you enjoy chewing gum or sucking on hard candies and throat lozenges? Even though these items typically do not contain a lot of calories, they stimulate your body to produce more saliva, which stimulates your appetite. Avoid placing anything in your mouth between your meals except to drink water throughout the day.
Redirect Your Attention – the Importance of Mindfulness in Weight Loss
Are your obsessing about what you will eat for your next meal? One of the easier ways to defeat food cravings is to look for ways to distract your attention and refocus it on something that is not related to food.
If you are feeling especially hungry, rather than giving in to temptation and blowing your diet, do something completely different. Participate in a sports activity or one of your hobbies that does not involve food. Practice deep breathing, yoga, meditation or another mindfulness activity.Go outside and take a short walk or participate in some other form of exercise. Read a good book. Watch your favorite show on TV – but only if you can be certain that you won’t encounter any food commercials during the broadcast.
Learning how to cope with temptation and resist giving into food cravings is necessary if you really want to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is a difficult, but not impossible task, and having a strategy to help you resist and stick to your diet before hand will improve your weight loss results.
Photo Credit: bob walker, Flickr