Food Cravings

Lose Stomach Fat, Beat Food Cravings and Stick to your Diet

Often, food cravings strike when you want them least. Trust me when I say that even I, Marc Dressen, know what it’s like to be overcome by cravings from time to time.

Usually, you find yourself struggling with food cravings most when you’re desperately trying to figure out how to reduce belly fat with your personal trainer in London. Unfortunately, eating plenty of cold pizza just because you “feel like it” isn’t a great way to get your ideal body.

Here’s the deal…

The best way to earn the body that you really want, is with a system of training and goal-oriented fitness solutions that are designed to hold you to your diet, and help you achieve the perfect results.

Here, we’re going to take a look at some of the ways that you can beat food cravings, and help you to understand them a little better too. Remember, food cravings are complex, and can be caused by everything from stress, to alcohol, to obsessive dieting. In this article, you’ll learn about what causes food cravings, emotional triggers, how to beat food cravings, and more!

What Causes Food Cravings?

Cravings are complicated issues that can be intertwined with a range of different external and internal cues. One of the most common reasons for food cravings, for instance, is the consumption of alcohol.

The chances are that you’ve encountered times when you’ve come back from a drink with the lads only to polish off some extra pizza or a bag of chips. Research suggests that people who experience the strongest food cravings generally have a higher risk of suffering from issues with alcohol abuse. Additionally, drinking is known to raise the risk of over-eating and enhance your fat storage too, which means that you end up quickly falling down a slippery slope.

Of course, alcohol isn’t the only issue that can cause cravings. You can also experience cravings thanks to a restrictive diet. After all, a lot of people find themselves fixating on particular foods after they’re told that they can’t have it. As human beings, we obsessive over anything that’s forbidden, and there’s nothing like the temptation of a “bad” food to get us binging on something that we wouldn’t normally eat.

The dangers of cravings in combination with restrictive diets is often why restrictive eating often leads to falling off the wagon with extreme binging. This is why it’s so important to make sure that you embrace flexible dieting.

Emotional Triggers and Food Cravings

Popular culture tells us that the best way to tackle our emotions when we’re feeling stressed our upset, is to turn to something fatty or sugary. Although that stereotype is definitely over-played, it highlights the fact that emotions can actually cause food cravings.

Emotions, particularly negative ones, can prompt you to eat. Sadness, anger, and boredom have all been identified as triggers for cravings, as they act as a way for us to self-medicate with serotonin-boosting substances.

However, the important thing to remember, is that whether stress, or sadness is convincing you that you need to eat more, you should always try to opt for a healthier way to deal with your feelings instead. Exercising, for instance, is almost always a good solution, as you’re unlikely to be thinking about food when you’re trying to lift weights or beat your speed on the track. What’s more, exercise releases those feel-good hormones that your body is craving when you seek out sugar and fat.

How to Beat Food Cravings with Diet

As a general rule, the more restrictive your diet is, the more likely you are to feel cravings.

For instance, research tells us that restrictive dieting strategies are associated with higher BMIs, eating disorders, and more, while flexible strategies for dieting are often much healthier. Additionally, restrictive diets are known to be a serious trigger for food cravings.

If you’re prone to cravings, one of the worst things you can do is follow a diet that makes a certain food “forbidden”. Instead, you should be using the principles of flexible dieting to develop meal plans that you can enjoy and stick to. This way, you should be able to eat most of the food you enjoy, while still reaching your weight loss goals. Remember, eating too little means you’re sure to feel cravings.

Beating Cravings with the Right Mindset

Aside from changing your dieting habits, you can also beat cravings with a different mindset. After all, you can use your mind to become better at sports, so why not use it to help you lose weight too?

Food cravings often begin with a sensory exposure to certain foods. For instance, you might see the golden arches in the distance and all you can smell, taste, or think about is fries. The more vivid your mental imagery is, the more likely you are to feel overwhelmed by your cravings.

The best way to fix the problem, is when craving strikes, find something else that you can visualize instead of the food. Try to experience it in your mind, with all the smells, colors, emotions, sounds, and smells you can muster. Another option is to simply distract yourself with something that’s going to stimulate your mind and get your thoughts away from unhealthy food.

Cravings and Mindful Eating Techniques

Mindfulness refers to an awareness that happens when you pay attention to something in the present moment. If you eat “mindfully”, then you can reduce your food cravings, improve your levels of satisfaction, and eliminate problems like emotional eating.

There are plenty of ways that you can bring mindfulness into your eating habits. For example, when you’re eating, try to slow down and be more aware of your physical sensations of chewing, the taste of the food on your tongue, and your thoughts. Try to discredit any feelings of self-judgement or guilt that might arise, and be aware of whatever you’re thinking and feeling.

The Bottom Line

If you want to get the perfect body and keep it that way, then you’re going to need to get control of your cravings. Following a results-driven solution for training and a healthy diet is crucial. The best way to do this is to reduce your alcohol intake, ditch any restrictive diets, and embrace flexible eating. Remember to use mindfulness and mental imagery as needed, and try to use more positive methods of dealing with bad emotions.

Also, try to keep in mind that the cravings you have shouldn’t make you feel bad or guilty. Cravings are a natural part of our lives, and they have no reflection on you as a person. As long as you learn how to fight them, you can still be your best version of you!

Marc Dressen
Personal Trainer London

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