A guide to help you resist cravings for unhealthy food

Dr. Hira Tanveer

2 min read

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Unhealthy food refers to food with low nutritional value and high calories, sugar, and fat content. An unbalanced diet with a high intake of unhealthy or “junk food” can lead to many health issues including obesity, malnourishment, diseases due to dietary deficiencies etc. Which is why it is so important to start resisting cravings for unhealthy food.

Cravings for junk food occur due to a number of different reasons. Some of these include an improper sleep cycle, sleep deprivation, stress, low energy levels, celebratory mood, or genetics. Such reasons make our bodies crave unhealthy foods rich in sugar and fat. However, some tips can help put a curb to excessive junk food cravings.
Here are some of the tips to follow for resisting cravings for unhealthy food:

Get adequate sleep:

Not getting enough sleep is one of the primary causes for junk food cravings. Research suggests that sleep deprivation results in an imbalance of appetite hormones and lead to cravings. Studies have shown that the chances of obesity become 55% higher for people who are sleep deprived. Hence getting more sleep and regularizing your sleep cycle can surely help you in resisting cravings for unhealthy food.

Drink more water:

Drinking water before meals has proven to help with weight loss as well as reduce appetite, especially among middle-aged or older people. Moreover, sometimes your body may confuse thirst with food cravings. Drinking water may help reduce junk food cravings.

Combat stress:

Stress can lead to binge eating of unhealthy foods. As a form of coping mechanism, your boy tends to crave junk when stressed out. Therefore it is important that you try reducing the stress levels in your life. This can be done in a number of ways some of which include: mediation, taking deep breadths, running, exercising, or engaging in healthy activities such as reading, writing, playing an instrument etc.

Distract your mind:

When craving junk food, distracting your thoughts can help get rid of them. This can be done my thinking about something else or indulging in another activity such as walking. Chewing gum is also an effective method used by many for resisting cravings for unhealthy food.

Schedule your meals:

Planning your meals on a daily or weekly basis helps reduce your chances of resorting to unhealthy food. If you know what you’re going to eat, resisting the urge to have junk food is easier. Moreover, this way you can add healthy alternatives for snacks instead of going for those packaged chips or French fries.

Take small meals at regular intervals:

This will prevent you from staying hungry for extended periods of time. Taking small, regular meals ensure that your energy levels remain stable and that you do not have sudden cravings for unhealthy food.

Add more protein in your diet:

This simple tip can help reduce your junk food cravings to a remarkable degree. Increasing the amount of protein in your diet can help give you a feeling of being fuller and more satisfied for longer intervals. Foods rich in protein include nuts, beans, fish, as well as vegetables. A high protein diet causes prevention of overeating and significant reduction in junk food cravings.

Add fruits to your diet:

Fruits are a rich source of Vitamins. Moreover, they contain antioxidants, water, and high fiber content which help in keeping the metabolism active. Fruits can become an excellent alternative to sugary junk such as chocolate, candies etc.

Add ‘spinach extract’ to your diet:

Research suggests that spinach extract helps reduce cravings for unhealthy food. This is because it slows down the digestion of fats. Moreover. It raises levels of hormones responsible for reducing cravings and appetite.

Do not skip meals:

Skipping meals or having an irregular cycle of food intake increases the chances of getting junk food cravings. Thus, it is essential to eat proper meals at the right timings. If your body has sufficient amounts of nutrients, cravings for unhealthy food would automatically reduce.

Avoid grocery shopping on an empty stomach:

Since grocery stores provide the easiest access to junk food, going to stores hungry can mean increasing the chances of impulsive shopping and busying junk food. Therefore make sure to eat something before heading to the super mart!

Keep your eating habits in check:

In order to control binge eating and unhealthy eating, you must be mindful of your dietary habits. Eating at appropriate meal times, being undistracted while having food, chewing thoroughly, and not eating too quickly are all part of a healthy dietary regime. You must also keep a check on the amount of calories you intake and whether or not you are able to burn them.
Incorporating theses simple tips in your dietary habits can help reduce your cravings for junk food.

However, if you feel you are unable to control these cravings, book an appointment with the top Nutritionists in Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore through oladoc.com or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your health concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Hira Tanveer - Author Dr. Hira Tanveer is an MBBS doctor and currently serving at CMH Lahore. Writing is her favorite hobby as she loves to share professional advice on trendy healthcare issues, general well-being, healthy diet, and lifestyle.