You’re not hungry, you’re bored.
Don’t be a victim of mindless snacking (I’m talking to myself too… “Why did I buy those candy corns again?” *face palm*)
5 Tips to Curb Those Cravings
1 | Make sure you’re eating actual meals during the day.
This may mean that you have to plan your meals in advance. Eating actual meals (and meal planning) will ensure that you’re getting enough protein, fats, and carbs to sustain you between meals. It’s when you don’t have that in-between sustenance that you start snacking…
Ever notice how restricting food intake all day leads to eating a whole pizza, half a sleeve of oreos and some Ben & Jerry’s at night? That’s because the body is meant to eat small meals throughout the day so it doesn’t think it’s starving to death.
2 | Drink more water.
People often confuse hunger for thirst. Symptoms of thirst are very similar to that of hunger and the same part of the brain is responsible for both. The next time you sense that you’re hungry, take a moment to ask yourself the following 2 things:
1. When was the last time I ate something?
If you’ve eaten within the last 2 hours, you’re probably not hungry.
2. When was the last time I drank water?
If it’s been over an hour, you’re probably thirsty.
3 | Identify your hunger cues.
Late night snacking while binging Netflix is not acceptable.
Start tracking the times you crave food. This is where a food journal can come in handy. Make a column for the times you crave food and a column for the times you eat, in addition to what you eat or drink throughout the day. This will help to identify patterns that can illuminate what’s a mindless craving and what is actually hunger.
4 | Brush your teeth
Your taste buds are triggered to hunger receptors in the stomach-brain connection (it’s all connected). For many people, the hunger satiation receptors don’t “go off” until all the taste buds have been stimulated. Ever noticed how after a huge dinner, you somehow miraculously have room for dessert? That’s because your “sweet” taste buds weren’t stimulated enough during dinner, so your brain thinks you have room for it, when in truth, you are stuffed.
Brushing your teeth can give your taste buds the kick in the pants that they need to signal to your stomach-brain connection that you’re good, and that no, you do not need that snack.
5 | Always Remember BWYFWSBF: But Would You Fuck With Some Broccoli First?
When all else fails, this one never does. It’s simple and it’ll help you check yourself.
If you’re desperate enough to eat broccoli, then you’re actually hungry. If you’re not, you’re probably just bored.
Drink some water, go for a walk and/or organize something. Your brain is lacking stimulation, so do something that’ll occupy it with mindful activities. Studies have even shown that playing Tetris can help curb bored-hunger. You’ve got options. Pick one.
Alicia McKenzie, also known as LiftLikeAMother, is a former athlete and has spent over a decade in the fitness industry, to include owning and operating a Crossfit gym for 5 years.