Self-control sometimes becomes everything or nothing, especially when you are following a strict diet to lose weight or get in shape. The moment you think about that one indulgence, its over.
When it comes to eating, self-control is the ability to say NO to generally unhealthy, or feel-good foods such as sugary and fatty foods.
A little cake might not be bad, but the true meaning of self-control is when you eat within your daily calorie goals and don’t indulge in overeating, it is the most healthy and wise choice you make. Having a balanced diet is most important to lead a healthy lifestyle.
In this blog, you will read about some simple tips that can help develop or improve your self-control with food.
How to Have Self-Control with Food?
Follow these easy tips to stop yourself from eating unhealthy or overeating food.
Include Protein in Diet
Including more protein in your diet helps in cutting down your appetite and keeping you away from overeating, while being a healthy option to fulfil your cravings. Protein such as chicken, meat, fish, soya or cottage cheese helps in reducing cravings and makes you feel satisfied for longer.
According to a study, a high protein breakfast helped in reducing the cravings in overweight teenage girls significantly. Another study showed that men who increase their protein intake to 25% of calories, reduce their cravings by 60% and also reduced the desire of midnight munchies by 50%.
Plan Your Meals Daily
If you have enough time, one effective way to improve self-control over food is to plan your meals beforehand for the whole day or the upcoming week. By deciding what you are going to eat throughout the day or week, you tend to eliminate the factor of spontaneity and uncertainty.
Because of this strict schedule, you do not go haywire about thinking of cravings and you follow your planned meal, feeling less tempted and less likely to indulge in unhealthy foods.
Schedule Unhealthy Treats
Sometimes you cannot give up on your favorite food such as chocolates or ice cream, which are not really healthy. Making a decision to enjoy your bowl of ice cream is more sustainable than cutting it out forcefully, and then having it by losing control one midnight.
Rather than cutting out your favorite food forcefully, aim at gradually shifting your eating plan to include a lot of healthy foods with a little amount of your unhealthy cravings. If your die is packed with food you love, healthy food we mean, you might not wind up craving the treats as much, especially in huge amounts. Therefore, include lots of whole foods, proteins, fruits, nuts, vegetables and seeds in your daily diet.
Keep Your Cravings Away
There is only one way to escape your cravings, it is to keep them away and distant from yourself. As further you keep the food you wish you could eat, it is more likely you will turn to healthy alternatives to fight off those cravings.
For instance, after a long walk, you might want to shift your mind to something else rather than thinking about what you wish you could eat right now. Changing your thought process and environments plays a huge role in having self-control to stop the cravings. Some studies also show that chewing gum can help in reducing the appetite and unnecessary cravings.
Drink Lots of Water
Sometimes thirst is confused with hunger and food cravings. When you feel the sudden urge of having specific food, try to drink a huge glass of water and wait a few minutes. After a while you will notice that your craving fades away naturally, as your body was just feeling thirsty.
In case of sugary foods, it makes your body dehydrated, wherein instead of drinking water, you tend to eat more sugar as your body gets confused if you need water or you are actually hungry. Drinking at least 12 glasses of water daily has a lot of health benefits as well in reducing appetite and losing weight.
Preach Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a type of meditation in relation to foods and eating. Mindfulness in eating is a practice that teaches you to differentiate between cravings and the actual physical hungers. It not only helps in choosing your response, but also eliminates unnecessary thoughts and impulsiveness.
Practicing mindful eating involves being present completely while you are eating, then slowing down and chewing the food properly. Avoiding distractions such as your phone or the
TV is also important. According to a 6-week study, binge eaters who started practicing mindful eating, reduced binge eating episodes from 4 to 1.5 per week. It also reduced the severity of each binge meal.
If you really wish to develop self-control over eating, you must control and fight off your stress levels. Stress induces food cravings and has a huge impact on eating behaviors, especially in women. Women under stress tend to intake more calories and experience more cravings as compared to non-stressed women.
Also, being stressed increases the blood levels of cortisol, which is a hormone known for gaining weight, especially in the belly area. In order to eliminate stress off your life, begin to plan ahead, meditate and generally slow down the pace of your life.
Increase Intake of Spinach
Spinach extract, which is a new supplement in the market, made from spinach leaves helps in delaying fat digestion, which in turn increases the levels of hormones, reducing your appetite and hunger cravings such as GLP-1.
According to several studies, intake of 3.75 to 5 grams of spinach extract with a meal can help reduce the appetite and unnecessary food cravings for several hours, developing your self-control. Another study showed that overweight women who included 5 grams of spinach extract daily in their meals, self-controlled their cravings for sugary foods by a straight 90% to 95%. Can you believe it?
More than 50% of people indulge in satisfying their cravings every day, ignoring their weight, food addiction and binge eating. But, being aware of such cravings and developing self-control might seem like a difficult task but also makes losing weight and eating healthy a whole lot easier.
Following the above simple tips will definitely help develop your self-control over food cravings. Try them out and let us know in the comment section down below!