Do you snack or struggle with food cravings?
Finding and mastering the art and science of self-control is a constant struggle.
Seemingly minor and unhealthy desires such as food cravings can overpower even the strong-willed.
The uncontrollable urge to eat, mostly unhealthy foods, can lead to serious health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Whether selective or non-selective, an intense craving for junk food can also lead to unhealthy weight gain.
However, with the right mentality and technique, food craving is conquerable.
Conquering Food Cravings
Food cravings can put a big dent on your health or fitness goals.
Successfully fighting off those relentless unhealthy and uncontrollable food depends on your mental fortitude and disposition.
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The following are effective strategies for conquering food cravings:
Understand how the reward system of your brain works.
You’ll identify those activities and foods that your brain finds pleasurable.
Food craving is a repeated reward behavior, but through a simple self-assessment, you will be able to identify the causative factors or triggers for uncontrollable food desires.
Sometimes your craving may stem from nutrient or hormonal imbalance, stress, anxiety, fatigue, or outside factors, such as food adverts on media.
Proactively identifying these causative factors is the key to developing an effective strategy to counter your food urges.
You can only fight off a known problem whose causative agents are identified.
Engage in useful and healthy distraction
Food cravings have short lifespans.
When you feel overwhelmed by an unhealthy desire to eat those potato chips, divert your attention by engaging in exercise or chores.
Read your favorite book or solve that jigsaw puzzle that has bothered you for a while.
Alternatively, you can call your friends to chat the craving away.
Healthy distraction is the best distraction.
Useful and healthy distractions will decrease the convenience of accessing unhealthy foods.
Avoiding self-directed pressure
One of the leading causes of stress, anxiety, and unhealthy eating habits is self-directed.
While it is healthy to demand more from yourself, it is unwise to push yourself beyond your limit.
Avoid eating when overly hungry.
Take plenty of water, eat a healthy and balanced diet at regular intervals, and get one of the best offset smokers to enjoy a barbeque party in the company of others.
Loneliness can push you towards overeating to fill the void.
The benefits of exercising for someone trying to beat off food cravings are diverse.
The release of dopamine by your brain will help reduce stress levels while also giving you greater control of your impulses.
Additionally, exercising is a healthy way to increase your blood flow while also reducing blood sugar levels associated with food cravings and stress.
Whether you opt for jogging or bike riding, physical activity is a great distraction that gets your brain working.
Bringing your food cravings under control comes with mental and physical health benefits.
Your overall outlook of life and psychosocial well-being will improve significantly.
The key to conquering food cravings is understanding that food and emotions are intertwined.
Therefore, always be proactive in identifying the causative factors and deal with them decisively.
Make plans and eat enough at meal times
While we crave foods due to many different habits, the main reason is simply that we are hungry and aren’t fully satisfied with the meals we create.
This is why you should probably plan out meals in advance so that you’re not scrambling for ideas.
Scrambling for ideas usually leads to lesser meals and, later, picking at different pieces of junk food.
Make meals that are balanced and have a good amount of carbs, protein, and fats.
You’ll be fully satisfied if you do so.
Whether that’s a healthy chicken, or whether it’s an air fryer halibut, be sure to clean your plate and get enough to quell the hunger.
Roasted Chicken Thighs with Herb Butter
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter slightly softened
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 Tbsp fresh, chopped oregano
- 3 Tbsp fresh, chopped parsley
- 3 Tbsp fresh, chopped chives
- 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp loosely packed lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp ground fresh black pepper
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs trimmed
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425ºF
- Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil and place a wire rack inside the baking sheet. Spray the wire rack with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, combine together the butter, garlic, herbs, lemon zest, and pepper. You may need to use a fork to incorporate the herbs into the butter.
- Loosen the skin from each thigh, without detaching it from the chicken.
- Spread the butter mixture under the skin, using your hands. Replace the skin.
- Brush the exterior of the thighs with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.
- Sprinkle desired salt and pepper on top of the chicken. Place the thighs on the wire rack with the skin side UP.
- Bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until an inserted meat thermometer indicates 165º.
- Remove from oven and allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving.