Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Assist With Urges When Attempting To Slim Down

Sugar-free trail mix is a great snack for dieters craving chocolate.

Food cravings can weaken your will power and throw your best laid diet plans way off course. According to naturopathic medical doctor Colleen Huber, NMD, cravings are often caused by either stress or a hormonal imbalance due to improper nutrition. The most effective way to deal with intense food cravings is to stop them before they strike by, first, ensuring that you're following a well-rounded diet and exercise plan, and secondly by curbing them with a healthy but sustaining snack.


1. Reward your plan for fitness with fun, outdoor exercise dates.

Getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily can help reduce food cravings in a few ways. One, it provides your body with helpful hormones, such as serotonin and endorphins. It also reduces your focus on food by keeping your mind and body occupied with the activity at hand.

2. Prevent stress-induced cravings by getting plenty of rest at night (at least eight hours), taking some time each week to do hobbies that you enjoy and spending time outdoors to reap the psychological benefits of natural sunlight.

3. To prevent dehydration and keep your stomach feeling full, drink plenty of water. Although diet sodas can help cut some calories, they are not an optimal choice (when compared to water) for weight loss or cravings. In fact, diet soda and obesity were linked in a 2005 study presented at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego by Sharon P. Fowler, MPH, and colleagues at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

4. Treat your immediate cravings with a healthy, craving-specific snack. NaturopathyWorks.com and Mayoclinic.com each offer a variety of recipes for healthy snacks that can replace high-fat, high-sugar content snack foods. Be sure to keep premade snacks with you at all times.

5. Bread is not the villain, just remember that less is more.

Eat a snack of complex carbohydrates, such as a whole grains, fruits or vegetables. Eating healthy complex carbohydrates at meal times or for a snack will curb cravings and keep you full longer, preventing you from eventually eating foods that are far worse. According to Dr. Huber, eating complex carbohydrates during a craving can also raise serotonin levels.

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