Almost every obese or overweight person has a particular food that is irresistible to them. Foods that bring about intense cravings that are difficult to control. Cravings are bound to happen to even the most disciplined people. Cravings usually hit around 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Yet, these times can vary for each person.
However, most people have a consistent time of day when their appetite comes on with a vengeance. In order to keep your appetite and cravings in check you need to make sure you are not skipping any meals and eating every three to three and a half hours to keep blood sugar levels stable. Skipping meals is the worst possible thing you can do when you are fighting cravings for irresistible foods. It is of the utmost importance to keep the right amount of fuel in your body as well as the right type of fuel. Researchers at Tufts University found that the most commonly craved foods were those high in calories, not carbs as commonly believed. Chocolate, salty snacks, chips and French fries were the most popular choices. A study from the University of Illinois researched food cravings a bit further and noted the role that gender plays with food cravings. Women tend to prefer more convenient foods that are quick and easily accessible. While men prefer meal related foods such as steak, burgers and casseroles. Skipping meals can cause you to head to the nearest vending machine or fast-food restaurant with a ravenous appetite that sets you up for feelings of guilt as well as weight gain.
It is very important that you are prepared for cravings when they hit. This will keep you from giving into temptation. Keeping a healthy energy bar, almonds, or fruit in your desk at work, in the car or at home will help you to be better prepared. It is also important that you purge your pantry, cabinets and refrigerator of all junk foods. Most of my patients will tell me that they keep the snacks in the house because the kids enjoy them. Do you really want your kids to get into the same habits and have the same temptations and cravings? If you don't want to feel like you are depriving your kids, treat them every once in a while, but do it outside the home. This guarantees that these tempting foods will not enter your house. Be aware of falling victim to mindless eating. Mindless eating happens when you are sitting in front of the TV, working on the computer, etc., all of the sudden you look down and you have eaten an entire box of cookies, bag of chips, or carton of ice cream. Try to eat only in the kitchen, or dining room. Make the bedroom, or couch off limits for eating.
Start to eat mindfully, understand the true pleasure of food. Savor each bite, chew slowly and taste each bite. Before you know it you will be craving better foods and resisting the temptation of unhealthy foods.