I get it, I do! You're at Pizza Hut and the aroma of the cheese mixed with the pepperoni and spices hits your nose like a Mike Tyson left hook (before he went crazy). It's easy to veer towards the forbidden side of high fat, high cholesterol and greasy foods, but why? Why is it easier for most of us to eat these types of foods than follow that straight and narrow path of clean eating?
Proteins and Carbohydrates give you about 4 calories per gram, lipids (type of fatty acid) provide about 9.4 calories per gram. Fatty acids are absorb through the body at a slower pace than protein and carbs, so fat will make you feel full. When you feel full a hormone triggered from the brain is released called serotonin. Serotonin makes one feel content and relaxed.
Now that we got all the scientific stuff out of the way, how can you curb these craving so you can keep your eye on the prize?
Here are 5 ways that will help you stop those types of cravings, so you can stay consistent with healthy eating:
1. Fight Stress- Stress has been known to induce food cravings and influence eating behaviors. Stress also increases the hormone cortisol which makes you gain weight. Try to alleviate stress by meditating, exercising, and sleeping better.
2. Avoid Getting Extremely Hungry- To do this, always prep your meals ahead of time and carry a healthy snack with you at all times. This can help avoid impulse eating where you would grab an unhealthy snack from a gas station or stop at a fast food restaurant.
3. Drink Water- Thirst can sometimes be confused with hunger and/or food cravings. If you feel a sudden urge to eat and it's late...DRINK WATER!
4. Eat More Protein- A study in overweight men showed that increasing their protein intake by 25% decreased their cravings by 60%. Also the desire to snack at night was reduced by almost 50%.
5. Distance Yourself From Cravings- Take a shower, or go on a walk. Anything to shift your mind to something else. Some studies have shown that chewing gum can help curb the appetite.
It's not the end of the world if you eat unhealthy, but doing that too much can cause a world of other physical and mental issues. Do your best to eat clean!