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Jul - Aug 2021
The Newsletter for Bariatric Patient Education and Motivation

Steps to Stop Cravings

By Monica Ganz, PhD

 

Cravings can overpower you and leave you spiraling out of control.  Before you know it, you give in to cravings and then you have eaten more calories in one sitting then you should have for an entire day. Now the guilt comes in and that one second decision has started you down a path of regret. Was it worth it? We must learn to take control and not let food control us.

 

Here are some tips that will help you feel fuller longer and curb those nasty cravings. Give them a try to help you refrain from overeating. Awareness is the key so start today.

 

Don't skimp during the day. Some do this to "save" calories for later on in the evening. No matter how in control you feel during the day, you're likely to become overly hungry early in the evening, which is a sure-fire way to give in to overeating.

 

Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Also eat water-rich fruits such as melon, grapes or oranges to help you feel satisfied throughout the day. Thirst is easily confused with hunger; so staying well-hydrated may prevent you from eating when you're not actually feeling true hunger. Remember to ask yourself “am I hot, am I hungry or am I thirsty”? Many times you are thirsty and not hungry, but most times we grab food instead of water thinking we are feeling a hunger.

 

Get enough sleep. Without even realizing it, we tend to eat more when we are tired; it's a way to perk ourselves up. While eating something high in carbohydrates will give you a burst of energy, it will soon fade away. Many of us reach for a coffee that may have many hidden calories, but it only wakes us up for a short time. Feeling well rested may help keep that afternoon slump at bay and keep you away from the vending machine or your coworkers candy dish.

 

Eat on a regular schedule. Eating regularly will keep you from getting too hungry to stay in control of what - and how much - you eat. I call them planned eating events. If you plan meals, then there is nothing left to chance. You know what you will be eating and when. Based on your needs and recommendations of your bariatric program, this may mean incorporating healthful snacks or by eating several planned mini-meals instead of three large ones.

 

Eliminate your cravings by incorporating these types of ideas into your daily routine. Remember poor habits are tough to break but a great way to do it is by using new ideas. We believe you can do it, now it’s up to you to make it happen.