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Curb cravings while making a diet and lifestyle change

Craving unhealthy foods?
Craving unhealthy foods?
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Are you on a diet or trying to change your eating habits? Do cravings all but drive you crazy? Cravings can annihilate all the hard work and effort put into a diet and lifestyle change. When we change our eating habits, our bodies and minds are often still in the old routine. What can be done to avoid cravings during a diet and lifestyle change?

Cravings are the body's way of telling us what we need.

Cravings may not be accurate when making a significant change. This is because the body has been programmed by the bad habits of our previous diet and lifestyle. The body bases cravings on what it was previously accustomed to. When make lifestyle changes, it takes time for our bodies to register the change and catch up with our new habits.

Periods of change and adjustment can be trying.

It's difficult to ignore signals from the body that we're used to obeying. Cravings can be powerfully demanding. They can cause us to lose focus and concentration, both at work and home. When making a change in lifestyle or diet it becomes important to recognize the reason for each craving. This way we can stick to our goals by giving the body what it needs, to make the cravings disappear.

Salt cravings are very common.

This is particularly true if exercise has been added to the mix. Exercise causes dehydration in those who don't drink enough water. When dehydrated, the body signals us to consume salt. It may seem ironic, but salt causes water retention. This is the body's way of holding onto what little water it has. Salt cravings will disappear almost entirely by keeping hydrated during a diet and lifestyle change. So drop the bag of chips. Down a tall glass of H20 instead. Salt cravings can also indicate magnesium deficiency.

Sugar cravings are also prevalent.

Your body needs carbohydrates for energy. The body sends out cravings for sugar because this is the way it was fed carbohydrates in the past. Another reason for the sugar cravings is that sugar is a fast working carbohydrate. It will satisfy the need quickly. The problem with using sugar as a carbohydrate is that it burns off quickly and causes you to crave even more sugar. Change the way carbs are consumed for better results.

Consume sources of carbohydrates that will stay with the body for a while and burn slowly.

This provides a constant source of energy during a diet and lifestyle change and keeps the cravings from coming back. Try getting your carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables, rather than candy and cookies. The energy will last longer and maintain blood sugar, rather than fluctuating drastically and encouraging cravings.

Many people complain of cravings for big juicy hamburgers that sabotage their diet.

Protein is what their body is telling them they need. Protein builds muscle. If muscles are week from unaccustomed exercise, cravings for protein will result. This is particularly true if your new diet and lifestyle change consists of eating mostly salads. Those vegetables are important. The body also needs protein. If you're not a vegetarian or vegan, stick to lean meats and fish. Vegans should incorporate soy or legumes into theirs. This will curb the cravings for fatty meats.

When making a diet and lifestyle change, curb cravings before they start.

Make a gradual change. Stay hydrated. Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Exercise moderately at first. Then, increase intensity gradually. Get plenty of rest and relaxation. In other words, do what you should have been doing all along. People who have always taken care of themselves and eaten in moderation don't have to go through the cravings associated with diet and lifestyle change.

Please note: The author is not a licensed medical professional. This article is not intended to replace professional medical advice.

This article was previously published by this author on a closed Yahoo! property.

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