How To Manage Your Hunger And Cravings
What is a Craving?
A craving is a psychological hunger often trigged by moods or emotions. These can include negative emotions (i.e.stress, sadness, loneliness) or positive emotions (i.e. happy, excited). Giving in to cravings regularly may negatively affect your weight loss success.
Tips On Managing Your Hunger And Cravings
Eat Regular Meals And Snacks
- Eating regularly decreases your chances of becoming extremely hungry and reach for an unhealthy food choice. Make sure your meals and snacks are scheduled into your day to reduce cravings and avoid grazing.
Include Protein With Every Meal
- Having an adequate amount of protein with your meals (2-3 oz), helps to keep you satisfied longer, and keeps your appetite from getting out of control.
Focus On Food Quality
- Not only do minimally processed foods provide you with more antioxidants, nutrients, and fibre, but they will also keep you full longer, make you feel good, and help keep you feeling energized.
- Making time to pre-plan your meals will assure that you are eating regularly, have control over your portions, and are including foods that are part of your meal plan. Having healthy foods on hand will help prevent you from grabbing unnecessary items and limits urgest to overeat.
Balance Your Meals
- Protein continues to be a priority when eating your meals, however, it is important to add some healthy fats (i.e. nuts, olive oil, nut butters), vegetables, and some healthy carbohydrates (fruit and whole grains) in your diet.
- It is important that you stay hydrated. Not getting enough fluids can result in feelings of hunger and cause cravings. Aim for 1.5 – 2 L of fluids per day.
- Make sure the foods you keep at home and at work are on your meal plan. Keep your “crave foods” out of the house and workplace.
Use the above tips to help keep hunger and cravings at bay. If cravings do occur, try pausing and asking yourself if you are physically hungry or emotionally hungry. If your answer if emotional hunger, try using distraction with activities that are incompatible with eating, such as going for a walk, working in the garden, painting your nails, or cleaning the house.
To learn more about managing your hunger after bariatric surgery, have a look at our blog post on “How Bariatric Surgery Changes Your Hunger, Metabolism And Even Your Tastes For Certain Foods.“