How To Curb Your Cravings for Greater Weight Loss
The formula for weight loss is pretty straightforward: Burn more calories than you consume. If you can do that consistently, you’ll lose weight.
But when cravings strike, it can certainly be challenging to stick to this formula.
To be fair, cravings are normal. Everyone gets them. But not everyone gives in to them.
Believe it or not, it is possible to not only control temptation but avoid it altogether. Here are some very simple things you can do to control cravings so you can continue to be successful in your weight loss journey.
Drink More Water
It’s often said that we can confuse hunger and cravings for thirst. And it’s true!
If you get the urge to dip into a bag of chips or pint of ice cream, try drinking a glass of water instead. Wait a few minutes…you may find that the craving completely goes away!
Drinking a glass of water before eating a bigger meal can also reduce your appetite a bit, which can help you cut down on the amount of food you consume.
Load Up on Protein & Fats
Both protein and fat help to curb cravings, lessen appetite, and prevent overeating.
Healthy fats in particular, like nuts, full-fat dairy, olives/olive oil, coconut, and avocado, can lessen the desire to load up on unhealthy carbs like sugary cereal or white bread.1
High-quality protein has a similar effect. It makes you feel full and satisfied for longer, therefore reducing the amount you eat or snack between meals.2
Research shows that the simple act of chewing gum (sugar-free preferably) can cut cravings and appetite.
In one study involving 60 participants, those who chewed gym before eating ate 36 fewer calories compared to those who did not chew gum. The researchers wrote, “chewing gum suppressed appetite, specifically desire for sweets and reduced snack intake.”3
Another study of 50 women found that, “Chewing gum intermittently post-lunch enhances perceptions of satiety and may have important implications in reducing afternoon high carbohydrate-snack intake.”4
Avoid Getting Hungry
If you’ve ever let yourself get absolutely ravenous, you know that bad food choices or decisions often follow. After all, how often have you reached for an apple or lettuce while starving? No, it’s usually easily accessible junk foods like chips, cookies, popcorn, and ice cream.
To avoid getting uncontrollably hungry, have healthy, low-calorie snacks readily available at your desk, in your purse or briefcase, in your car, etc.
Control Stress the Healthy Way
Uncontrolled, unrelenting stress can lead to food cravings, especially in women.5
But regardless of your gender, all stressful situations trigger a cascade of hormonal and physiological changes in the body. Hormones like cortisol are meant to get you through a stressful situation by helping you survive a perceived threat. Once the threat goes away or the issue is resolved, the cortisol dissipates and things return to normal.
But constant stress elicits a steady, nonstop release of cortisol. Chronically elevated cortisol can result in elevated blood sugar, weight gain, and fat accumulation (especially around the belly).
There are many healthy ways to deal with stress: yoga, meditation, journaling, exercise, therapy, and deep breathing are just a few excellent options.
Take Appetite-Controlling Supplements
One of the best supplements you can take to reduce appetite and cravings is L-phenylalanine, which is an amino acid (a building block of protein).
L-phenylalanine works by releasing cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone that helps you feel full and satisfied, decreasing your desire to eat more. It also boosts the production of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) that boosts fat loss.
As a component of protein, phenylalanine is naturally found in a ton of high-protein foods, like meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and gelatin.
A study presented at the Society for Endocrinology in 2016 provides a better understanding of how phenylalanine works.
A little background first: The hormone ghrelin tells us that we are hungry, while the hormone GLP-1 tells us to stop eating because we are full. The balance of these hormones is what keeps us from overeating.
In the first experiment, researchers gave 10 rodents a single dose of phenylalanine. In the second experiment, obese rodents were given phenylalanine repeatedly over a 7-day timeframe. In both, the researchers compared results with control rodents.
They discovered that the rodents that got the single dose of phenylalanine not only ate less but had higher levels of GLP-1 and lower levels of ghrelin. Even better, the obese rodents that got several doses of phenylalanine lost weight and moved (exercised) more.
In a separate petri dish experiment, the researchers learned that phenylalanine interacted with a receptor called “calcium sensing receptor (CaSR),” which is what caused levels of GLP-1 to increase and appetite to decrease.6
Phenylalanine is the main ingredient in Newport Natural Health’s Appetite Control supplement. It also contains vitamin C for immune support, vitamin B6 (which converts phenylalanine to norepinephrine), and vitamin B5 (which converts your food into energy).
All of these easy tips can truly help you control cravings, and in turn aid in weight loss. Give them a try!
- Harvard School of Public Health. Healthy fats help curb cravings for unhealthy carbs. 2017.
- Westerterp-Plantenga M. Protein intake and energy balance. Regul Pept. 2008 Aug 7;149(1-3):67-9
- Hetherington M and Boyland E. Short-term effects of chewing gum on snack intake and appetite. Appetite. 2007 May;48(3):397-401.
- Park E, at al. Short-term effects of chewing gum on satiety and afternoon snakc intake in healthy weight and obese women. Physiol Behav. 2016 May 15;159:64-71.
- Epel E, et al. Stress may add bite to appetite in women: a laboratory study of stress-induced cortisol and eating behavior. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2001 Jan;26(1):37-49.
- Society for Endocrinology. Researchers may have found how high-protein diets cause weight loss. 2016 Nov 8.