Dieting is difficult enough already, as you are trying to avoid eating all of your favorite foods – foods that are no doubt high in fat and low in nutrients. However, it can be nearly impossible when you throw in the food cravings that you always get when you aren’t eating as much as you are used to eating. Cutting back on calorie consumption is an important part of getting fit and losing weight, but cutting back on calories means that you are also cutting back on the amount of food that you are eating. Thus arrive the food cravings…

It can be hard to avoid cheating on your diet, especially if you are so hungry that your stomach is growling. Want to know how to defeat these food cravings?

Stay Away from Triggers
Everyone has that trigger that reminds them “Hey, you’re hungry.” For some people, that trigger can be driving by their favorite restaurant, while for other people it’s sitting and watching the TV show that they have always seen on Pizza night.

Whatever it is that sets off your food cravings, STAY AWAY FROM THEM!

You are already changing your life to be more health and eat right, so why not make changes to your habits in order to avoid the things that set you off? Avoid anything that could trigger your hunger, and keep your mind focused on the end goal of losing weight.

Go For Water
If you feel a bit hungry or your stomach starts to rumble, reach for a very large glass of water. If you feel hungry, it may just be your body misinterpreting the signals being sent by your brain to let you know you need to drink water. Drink a large glass of water before snacking, and let at least 5 minutes pass between a glass of water and deciding to get a snack.
If you really are hungry, don’t go for solid foods, but instead find a compromise that will help you to fill up easily without adding too many calories. Make a green shake using lots of veggies and water with a little bit of fruit. It is guaranteed to fill you up, and a green shake is fairly calorie-light.

Chew Gum
If you feel your tummy rumbling, break out that pack of chewing gum and start chewing. This isn’t going to be a fix for all hunger, but it is something that can stop you from cheating on your diet if you just want to eat and aren’t really hungry. The sugar in chewing gum actually has calories, which is why sugar-free gum is such a good idea. Don’t chew too much gum, however, as chewing more gum than is healthy can cause other problems to develop. It is just a temporary remedy to help you get your mind away from your hunger, as it gives your mouth something to do.

Small Regular Meals
One thing that every dietician will recommend to combat the hunger pangs is to eat smaller meals more times a day. If you eat every three or four hours, all of a sudden your mouth and stomach aren’t worried that they aren’t going to get the food they want. It will take a bit of time to get your stomach accustomed to eating food at more regular intervals, but you will find that you can actually cut back on the amount of calories that you eat quite effectively if you eat more often.

Starve It Away
If you feel yourself getting hungry, you may just have to ignore the rumblings in your stomach until it is time to eat. If, however, it is just your mouth telling you, ‘I want that!’ you are going to have to starve those cravings. Most of the time the craving will be for a food that you see or think about, and you can help to eliminate this craving by getting rid of the junk food in your house. If it is just your body lusting after something it shouldn’t have, at least your home will be empty of food that you can eat—thus making it much more difficult for you to cheat on your diet.

Let it Pass –T here are times when you are just going to have to be patient until food time rolls around. Your food cravings can occupy your mind completely, but this is where matter has to win out over mind. You can let your mind wander freely, but you have to keep your body in check and just let the craving pass. It will be hard, but you will find that doing something else will be the best way to occupy your mind and get food out of your head.

Healthy Compromise
There are times when your body will actually crave something sweet or something to chew on, and you won’t be able to ignore it. In these cases, why not make a healthy compromise instead of completely giving in? Instead of reaching for a dessert, grab a piece of fruit to satisfy your mouth’s craving for sweet stuff. Instead of reaching for a slice of pizza, eat a handful of nuts to help give you something to chew on. Vegetable sticks are always a great compromise, and eating a plate of carrot, celery, and cucumber sticks can help to stop cravings in their tracks.

BONUS: Sleep Well
You will find that sleeping well is one of the best ways to deal with food cravings. When you are tired, your brain releases a hormone that your body misinterprets as hunger instead of tiredness. You will feel hungry when all that you really are is tired, but sleeping well at night can help you to avoid these food cravings. Sleeping well can help you to control your hormones and have a healthy balance that will make it easier for you to be faithful to your diet.

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