7 Hunger Fixes
Tips to Curb Cravings in Between Meals
For athletes, proper nutrition and staying within a desirable body weight range are key components to great performance. But maintaining the two can be difficult specially during training days due to food cravings.
Practice these smart and simple ways to stop cravings between meals.
1 Don’t skip breakfast.
Breakfast-skippers tend to eat more than usual or nibble on high-calorie snacks. Consuming breakfast is key to jumpstarting your metabolism. During sleep, our body uses energy to repair itself and it undergoes a fasting state for six to 10 hours (depending on each individual’s hours of sleep). Skipping breakfast prolongs this state thus putting your body on “starvation mode,” which causes your blood sugar to drop. To cope with the starvation and low blood sugar, you tend to eat more throughout the day. Low blood sugar levels are associated with lower overall blood flow to the brain, which can jeopardize your ability to make good decisions.
2 Eat food rich in nutrients and long-lasting energy.
Choose from fruits, veggies, legumes, whole grains, nuts, low-fat dairy and lean meats. Make sure that protein contributes 30 percentof your regular meal. Protein is a very satisfying nutrient, and when eaten with high-fiber carbohydrates, helps increase the feeling of fullness for longer period.
Fibrous foods also can take longer to chew, giving your brain time to get the signal that you have had enough to eat.
3 Eat carbohydrates that do not spike your blood sugar.
Eliminate refined sugars, sodas, and fruit juices, as these can trigger cravings between meals. Choose food low in glycemic index like multigrain bread, coffee, low-fat cheese, apples, green leafy vegetables oatmeal, tea, yogurt, rolled oats, cranberry juice, nuts, bananas, saging saba, sweet potato, and vegetable juices.
4 Avoid your triggers.
Identify the people, places, and things that trigger your cravings and plan ahead so you avoid making unhealthy choices. Most cravings will pass within 15 to 20 minutes, so if you can find something else to occupy your mind for a while, do it, and you may just find relief.
5 Drink more water.
Sometimes hunger is disguised as dehydration. Try drinking a lot of water between your meals to make you feel fuller and help you moderate your food intake.
6 Manage stress.
Stress triggers hormones that activate cravings and leads to “comfort-eating.” Take up yoga or integrate time management skills into your routine. Even a short walk and deep breathing help release endorphins, known as the “happy hormones” and improve oxygen levels in your body thus lowering your stress level.
7 Work out regularly.
Research shows that regular physical activity can curb cravings. Making exercise a part of your daily routine can help you stick to your healthy eating plan. Regular exercise increases your metabolism. A higher metabolism means you can process the food you eat more efficiently, thus the nutrients and minerals that you eat from your major meals are absorbed properly. This, in turn, reduces your food cravings, since cravings are often a result of your body missing important nutrients.