If you’re struggling with what feels like uncontrollable food cravings on your weight loss journey, I totally hear you, girlfriend.
On my journey to losing 20 pounds, that was probably one of the biggest things that I struggled with. Honestly, until I was ready to grasp what helped prevent those cravings and what to do when they did hit, I really wasn’t seeing too much weight loss because I was constantly thinking about food, constantly craving things that weren’t necessarily the best for my weight loss. And it made my journey so much harder.
I want to share five simple ways to actually prevent those cravings from happening in the first place, so you don’t even have to deal with them. Now that’s not to say you’re never going to have a food craving. Of course, it’s going to come up. But if you put these barriers in place, it’s going to be, be a lot less often. And that’s really, really incredible when it comes to losing weight and it makes your journey so much easier. And this is now something I love helping my clients overcome.
Tip Number One – Make Sure You’re Eating Enough Throughout the Day
Nine out of ten clients I work with come to me under fueling throughout the day, and it causes them to have cravings specifically around 3 to 4:00 PM. Then after dinner, when they’re already done eating, and I know what that’s like, I’ve been there, feeling super unsatisfied and unsatiated with anything that you’re eating, especially your healthy meals, right? That you feel like you just wasted your whole day of trying to eat low calories and eating little food, because you just binged late at night and you don’t really know why, but you’re probably, or most likely overeating at other parts of the day with these uncontrollable food cravings, because you’re under fueling yourself throughout the day.
We are humans. We need energy and food gives us energy. When we’re not eating enough throughout the day, especially when we’re probably doing the bulk of our activity, then by the time you get home at night, you sit down, you relax, you try to eat something healthy. You’re not going to feel satisfied and you’re going to want all the food.
One of the main reasons is happens is it’s physiological, it’s happening on a biological level. So it’s not even your fault because you’re not fueling yourself enough throughout the day and your blood sugar starts dropping low. What typically happens then is you either have really low energy and maybe you’re able to white knuckle it through the day with a coffee and a couple of little snacks.
But if you’re not actually fueling yourself well, what is going to happen is that by the time you go to eat something, you’re going to feel really out of control with your food choices and you’re going to want all of the things. That really just goes back to under fueling yourself throughout the day, your blood sugar dropping too low.
When our blood sugar is low, hello, that’s when cravings come in. Our bodies are smart. They know when our blood sugars are low, that the carbohydrates are going to help pick our blood sugar back up. That’s typically why people crave carbohydrates in general.
So do yourself a favor, girlfriend. Make sure that you’re eating enough throughout the day to fuel your needs so that you can lose weight without having to have these cravings all day long.
Tip Number Two – Find your Carb Tolerance or your Carb Sweet Spot
Basically, what your carb tolerance is, is that sweet spot of carbohydrates that makes you feel, energized, satisfied, not having cravings, but you’re still able to lose weight. Because the reality is if your carbs are too high or too low, you’re going to have cravings, lack of energy, similar symptoms, actually. Finding that really great spot in between is where you’re able to make sure you’re having a good amount of carbohydrates that you’re still feeling satiated, but you’re also able to lose weight.
Tip Number Three – Stop Cutting Fun Carbohydrates from your Diet
Now you’re probably like, Heather, are you really telling me to not completely cut out pasta, pizza, all of that stuff when I’m trying to lose weight. Yeah, I am because the reality is weight loss and weight maintenance. Don’t actually look that different. If you’re cutting out all of these foods that you actually love while you’re trying to lose weight, then when you go into maintenance, it’s going to be really hard for you to figure out how those foods fit in.
Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t decrease those fun foods like pastas, cakes, cookies, all of that. You absolutely should for your health and for your weight loss, but there’s a time and a place for them. You don’t have to one hundred percent cut them out on your weight loss journey.
Just like if you were to tell a kid not to do something, they’re going to want to do it 10 times more, right? We are not as mature as you may think. We are really similar as adults. If I tell you never to eat a food, you’re probably going to be thinking about it 10 times more. And that’s not what we want to be focusing on when we’re trying to lose weight.
What I encourage you to do with this information is not focus so much on “what I cannot have” and have this “do not eat” list. Instead, focus on what you should have and it’s going to make you feel good and support your goals. Then naturally you’re going to have less of those fun foods. But I think the mentality of saying that I can never have something, or I can never have sugar for 60 days, whatever the case may be, isn’t a helpful mindset when it comes to weight loss.
Tip Number Four – Find Purposeful Ways to Satisfy your Food Cravings
Now you might be asking yourself like, what the hell, Heather? You just told me to eat those fun foods if I want it. And yeah, if you’re craving something like specific, let’s just say it’s a certain slice of pizza from your certain favorite pizzeria. Then that’s when you know, it’s a true craving for something specific and there’s a way to fit that food in. But if you’re just telling me I’m craving something sweet, there are so many more nutritious alternatives to satisfy a sweet craving that are going to be purposeful.
What I mean by purposeful is that it’s actually going to keep you full, shut off your hunger hormones, and cut that food craving instead of perpetuating it to continue. For example, if I’m craving something sweet, maybe I’ll make a chocolatey peanut butter smoothie that’s delicious, sweet, satisfies that craving, but also has some protein, fat, and fiber in it. That’s going to keep me full and shut off those carb cravings.
Tip Number Five – Focus on Your Thoughts
This is so important and it’s last, but absolutely not least. For example, something huge that really helped me was to stop telling myself I had a sweet tooth. Once I identified as that person, I put myself in that box. I really started naturally self-sabotaging because if I was, let’s say, at a family party and someone brought pastries, even if I really didn’t necessarily want it, I would tell myself I would because I have a sweet tooth. I can’t not have it, because it’s there. Or I could never just have a one bite of that piece of cake. I would have to have the entire thing because I can’t control myself around sweets.
Well, guess what? If you’re telling yourself that you can’t control yourself around sweets and that you have a sweet tooth and you can’t resist that, those mindset cravings, as I like to call them, won’t go away because our thoughts completely dictate a result.
Our thoughts affect our feelings, affect our actions, and affect our results.
So your thought is I can’t control myself around sweets because I have a sweet tooth. Your feeling is going to feel defeated and uneasy around those foods. Your action is going to be that you’re probably going to overeat them, and your result is going to be that you’re not losing weight.
If you can reframe that thought and go back to it and catch yourself in that moment and say, okay, I don’t have a sweet tooth. That’s not even a real thing. I can control myself around sweets. I can control myself around all my food choices because my thoughts control everything and I can control my thoughts. So that is not me. That’s not who I am. And I could be different from this moment forward.
Then your feeling is going to be empowered and more excited and curious, your action is going to be that you may be able to not indulge in the sweets or not overindulge in the sweets, and your results are that you’re going to be able to lose weight finally. Don’t underestimate how powerful your thoughts are. Your thoughts make up your reality. You’re in control of your thoughts at the end of the day.
And let’s say you do have a sweet craving, okay? It’s not that big of a deal. It’s a craving and it will pass. It will go away. It’s just a feeling. So sometimes it could actually be helpful to sit in it and think, where is this coming from? Is this a craving? Am I bored, am I actually hungry? Do I really want this? Question it and sit in it and realize that it will pass just like any other feeling.
Join My Free Workshop and Learn How To Lose Weight Without The Cravings
If you’re interested in learning more about this, how to live a low carb lifestyle, lose weight without being hungry or having cravings, then I created a free workshop and you get instant access to it. It walks you through my step-by-step system to lose weight, living a low carb lifestyle.