How to Curb Food Cravings for Effective Weight Loss

By: Nancy Lin

“I can’t stop my bad food cravings,” says every human known to man. If you find yourself repeating these exact words (either silently or aloud to yourself), know that you are not alone. 

Craving a favorite taste--sweet, salty, or fried is a normal sensation, but when it becomes too frequent and intense, there is an issue. This may lead to weight gain, diabetes, heart problems, mood swings, and other chronic diseases.

Cravings fuel an imbalance in the body. The “I’ll just have one bite” inner dialogue turns into eating the entire basket of bread, the whole bag of chips, the rest of the cereal box or the entire pizza. These episodes can wreak havoc on both our physical and emotional well-being. 

The good news is that curbing food cravings can be done, especially if weight loss is your goal. Here are a few of the best ways you can start to curb your cravings today and reap the overall mind and body benefits of a healthier lifestyle.

1. Eat Breakfast

Hunger pangs can create chaos while you are on a transformation, nutrition plan or just trying to eat your best. It may be hard to concentrate on work, family, or anything else because of your strong food cravings, so get into the habit of eating breakfast. It is easier to prevent the cravings and hunger pangs than to treat them, so eating breakfast is important.

Breakfast can help you control blood sugar levels throughout the day and stop hunger pangs from ruining your diet. Eat a complete breakfast that combines carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats into one meal. Try this Coconut Blueberry Breakfast Oatmeal.

2. Level Up Your Protein

Protein can make you feel satisfied after a meal or snack, so you're less likely to crave other foods. In fact, the first meal of the day—your “break-fast” should include a generous amount of high-quality protein, like Transformation Protein’s 30 grams of fully amino acid optimized protein powder.

You can also add in healthy sources of plant protein to your shakes, such as hemp, sunflower, chia, flax, or pumpkin seeds. Nut butter and other butters, such as almond, cashew, peanut, and seed butters, also pack a healthy serving of protein. 

Certainly, some of the best animal sources of protein that can curb your hunger and cravings include: 

  • White meat such as chicken or turkey breasts
  • Wild-caught fish, especially fatty fish like salmon, cod, halibut, mahi mahi, maceral, herring, sardines, and tuna
  • Eggs and egg whites
  • Lean or extra-lean cuts of grass-fed beef or bison, such as sirloin, or round cuts (greater than 93% lean ground beef)
  • Lean pork tenderloin

Consuming protein when cravings kick in, or after a workout can help you satisfy the hunger in your stomach and in your mind. Protein also helps your muscles rebuild themselves, so always prioritize your protein sources when on a nutrition plan.

3. Go to Bed Already

According to a growing body of science, going to bed earlier, especially after you have exercised during the day, can help you curb hunger. In fact, the longer you stay up, the more likely you are to overeat. If you go to bed early, then you will be less likely to be tempted by the treats in your kitchen.

In addition, research shows that lack of sleep raises the hormone ghrelin—which is responsible for signaling satiety and hunger in your body. So, power down your electronics, reframe from the Netflix marathon, and get into a consistent and relaxing bedtime routine so you can keep those food cravings at bay.

4. Stay Intentional and Mindful

woman-meditating

Mindfulness is the key in the cravings game. When you start to feel a food craving coming on, simply pause and think for a minute about what emotion or thought brought this sudden craving on. Being mindful of what is going on (without judgment) and just breathe through it.

Acknowledge that the craving is happening, allow it to happen and leave the self-deprecating negative judgements at the door. Let your judgements and thoughts about the craving come and go while you remain focused on your breathing. 

By not shaming ourselves for having cravings, and allowing those feelings to just “be”, it can help us move past them and not act upon them. Give it a try the next time that sweet cravings kick in. 

5. Don’t Hate, Hydrate!

Be nice to yourself the next time intense food cravings come knocking. Don’t hate yourself for having taste buds. Instead, try drinking a tall glass of water when the craving hits. Many times, our bodies are on autopilot and when hunger and cravings kick in, we immediately open the refrigerator. Retrain your brain to grab a tall glass of refreshing water and drink that before going for the sugar or salt. 

Wait for about 20 minutes after drinking the water. Chances will be that you were just thirsty. Always keep your water containers with you (like your cell phone) and you’ll be constantly reminded to sip.  Many experts suggest drinking at least eight ounces of water even before you even reach for food. 

Aim for 80-100 oz of clean water a day. 

It’s also incredibly important to drink water before you exercise, while you exercise, and after you're done. Our bodies are made up of mostly water and need it replenished when we exert and move it for optimal health and repair. Drink water instead of grabbing another coffee, tea, soda, or energy drink. 

6. Get Your Fats In

healthy-fats

Incorporate and eat more healthy fats in each meal. This may seem counterintuitive but eating better-for-you fats can actually help you fight hunger and avoid gaining weight. The key is to focus only on healthy fats, like the ones rich in omega-3s like avocado, hemp, chia, flax, most nuts, eggs, fish, dairy and extra virgin olive oil. Sometimes eating a serving (22 count) of almonds, (19 count) walnuts or adding a generous dash of chia seeds to your smoothies or shakes is the smartest way to get your good fats.

7. Laughter Yoga

Yes, it’s a thing. Now, chances are, you are generally familiar with what yoga is, but have you ever tried laughter yoga? Laughter yoga involves stimulated laughter exercises along with specific breathing techniques. The goal is to teach the body how to laugh without the use of humor. It is a unique and fun way to practice yoga, and many people leave a laughter yoga class feeling a surge of positivity that they can bring into all areas of their lives. 

So, how can this help control food cravings, you’re asking? Well, it’s all about the endorphins and serotonin rush! Laughter allows the body to release these feel-good hormones. Laughing while moving your body into fun shapes and breathing is powerful in that it allows you to “play” while feeling good! With happiness comes an increased ability to control cravings, increased digestive function, and increased oxygen delivery to different parts of the body. The better your mental and physical state, the more in control you will be when it comes to your food choices. 

8. Sit Down to Eat and Chew Sloooooooowly

eating-in-comfort


Let us call it mindful eating, if you will, but having a consistent practice of sitting down, chewing methodically, and eating slowly can really curb your hunger and food cravings. If you swallow your food without chewing it enough, then it becomes more difficult to feel full—plus you may not enjoy the process and end up eating much more than you really intended to in the first place. The rate at which you eat affects your stomach hormones and how you feel. 

A study found that eating slowly was better. The researchers discovered eating too quickly affected the release of stomach hormones related to feeling full. In the same article, researchers recommend eating slowly, so the stomach hormones that make you feel full have a chance to become active. So next time you are about to dine in a hurry, take a few moments to find a place to sit your bottom down and look at your food as you chew each and every bite. You will see this one small change make a huge difference in your overall lifestyle habits of shoveling food unnecessarily in the long run. 

9. Try a Weight Loss Supplement

Stimulating your metabolism is an important part of transforming your body, especially when it comes to weight loss. I mean, think about it. It's going to be really hard to shred weight if your metabolism is slow and you're feeling less-than-energetic all the time. 

That's where all natural weight loss supplements come in.  Transformation's CUT supplement actively speeds up weight loss with ingredients like EGCG from green tea, and L-Carnitine, Guggal, Teacrine and Capsimax. 

Get Your Health Back on Track

Whether you suffer from frequent, persistent, or just downright irritating food cravings from time to time, try incorporating some of these methods to get better control of your food choices.

Sometimes all it takes is a new approach or a reminder for something to make an impact. Any one of these tips and tricks may be what you need to move past the cravings, and get your health back on track. 

Whether you suffer from frequent, persistent, or just downright irritating food cravings from time to time, try incorporating some of these methods to get better control of your food choices.

Sometimes all it takes is a new approach or a reminder to make an impact. Any one of these tips and tricks may be what you need to move past the cravings, and get your health back on track. 


Nancy Lin is a Holistic Nutritionist, who believes in honest and optimum wellness through fundamental lifestyle practices. She holds a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Therapy with an emphasis in Cognitive Disorders from the University of Florida. She has also conducted clinical research, assisted with dietary supplement product formulations, development and testing, and practiced therapeutic care at hospitals and rehabilitation centers in Florida and California.

Nancy believes in an integrative, comprehensive, and functional approach to your body and brain’s best ability with emphasis on addressing the root cause of health issues, not just treating symptoms. Her use of food with dietary supplements, and functional movement are at the core of what she preaches.  

I’m Ready To Protein Like A Pro!