You are probably overeating. Stress, culture, and biology have stacked the deck against you. Even the best intentions to shape up and eat well are often met by hunger pangs that make even the most resolute commitments fold under pressure. Take a minute to review a few of the most common reasons for overeating. Then, consider incorporating 1 of the following 9 tips for eliminating hunger cravings.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This article is meant to provide ideas and tips for improving health. Always speak with a licensed medical professional prior to making any changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regimen.
Reduce Hunger Cravings
Pregnancy excluded, hunger cravings are usually the result of changes to your lifestyle. Let’s take a look at the most common reasons for cravings:
- You decide to eat less (e.g. diet)
- You decide to exercise more
- You eat too fast
- Stress is getting to you
- Sleep is escaping you
Now, let’s take a look at the best tips to hedge against the unexpected arousal of hunger:
- Coffee – Enjoy a cup of joe post-meal to take advantage of the hunger-blunting and metabolism-revving benefits of this American favorite.
- Tea – Not a coffee fan? A cup of tea can reduce hunger cravings, too. Tea is richer in antioxidants and phytonutrients, delivering added health benefits that coffee cannot. Two of my favorites are Genmaicha and Oolong, two teas know to have a positive impact on digestion and metabolism.
- Walking – Take a stroll after your meal to help your body naturally digest. Walking also gives you an opportunity to clear your mind, which can subtly alleviate hunger cravings.
- Meditation – You don’t need to be a Buddhist monk to appreciate meditation. Try mindfulness meditation, a simple exercise that asks you to sit in stillness with your breath. Close your eyes, breathe evenly, and let your thoughts pass like clouds in the sky. Just a few minutes of meditation is enough to reduce stress, which might just make your hunger pangs evaporate.
- Gum – Chewing gum is a quick and easy way to send a signal to your body that meal time is over. Choose a sugar free brand, and go minty rather than fruity to help soothe your stomach.
- Find Flow – Flow seems to have been the unofficial theme of 2015, with everyone from psychologists to self help gurus writing about the power of losing yourself to rewarding activity. Essentially, flow is a state in which you are engaged with a task that is just the right combination of difficult yet rewarding. Examples include writing, coloring, painting, digital design, etc. Find your flow for an active meditation that will clear your mind and move you away from hungry thoughts.
- Prepping Your Next Meal – There is something undeniably satiating about preparing a meal. Meal prep can also put you in to a state of flow, helping to transition your mind and body away from feelings of hunger.
- Drink More Water – Often times, feelings of dehydration come disguised as hunger pangs. Drink plenty of water to reduce cravings naturally.
- Get More Sleep – Sleep deprivation may cause hormonal fluctuations that inhibit the body’s natural response to food, which can delay (or eliminate) feelings of satiation. In other words: Staying up all night can make you feel unnaturally hungry throughout the next day. Get a good night’s rest to promote healthy hormonal levels and moderate feelings of hunger.
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