4 Questions to Ask Next Time you Crave an Unhealthy Snack
Edited By Stephanie Dawson
We often experience a time in which we feel that we need chips or candy immediately and we are unable to focus on anything else other than our food cravings. This may seem normal but it can indicate several different issues. You may be thirsty and a glass of water can do the trick, or you may actually be hungry. If you often choose packaged and processed foods your body is likely to be deprived of essential nutrients it needs.
Ask yourself the following questions before satisfying your food cravings with unhealthy packaged and processed foods:
• What is my hunger level?
Do you really know what your hunger level is? This is an important question when you crave unhealthy foods. If you have not eaten in the last 4 hours it might be time for lunch. You may be surprised to see that hunger was not actually the issue when you rate your hunger level on a scale of 1-10 after eating, we often end up eating more if we are not aware of what our hunger level is. Next time when you see a dessert and feel a craving for it ask yourself if you are really hungry.
• What is my mood?
Be aware of your emotions about food. At times you may feel that eating will solve the problem if you are tired or cranky, but that is not true. Your body may be indicating that you are lacking support or love if you find yourself binging on unhealthy foods often. You should know what these emotions and cravings are and how they are affecting your eating habits. Most of the time your problems have nothing to do with food.
• Are you distracted?
Food cravings and boredom go hand in hand. Your cravings are highest when you have idle time, often over a weekend. Many people eat to kill time and satiate emotions that arise from over-thinking when we have nothing else to do. A good way to combat this is to keep yourself busy. Try taking a walk or jog outside which will keep you busy and help you avoid food cravings while providing other health benefits also.
• Do I know my triggers?
Know what your triggers are, by knowing them you can make plans for the future to control your cravings for unhealthy foods. If you know that you are likely to eat unhealthy snacks while watching a movie, plan accordingly and watch the movie after you have eaten. If you know that things like ice cream or chocolate are your weaknesses do not keep them in your refrigerator.