Feel like a bottomless pit? Try these 8 simple tricks to control your food cravings.
You may be mistaking your hunger for thirst! Signs of thirst can be similar to symptoms of hunger – before you reach for a snack, try hydrating. When food cravings strike, drink a large glass of water. Give your body a few
minutes and then reevaluate your hunger needs! Even if you determine you’re hungry, providing your body with extra fluid will still benefit you – chances are you’ll make healthier food choices after hydrating.
Get More Zzz’s
Increased food cravings may be a sign you need to hit the snooze button. Yes, inadequate sleep can lead to increased hunger and food cravings! When we’re not getting enough sleep, our body increases the production of the hunger hormone, Ghrelin(1). When released, Ghrelin sends signals to the brain telling it we’re hungry! The trick to keeping cravings at bay? Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night and put the late-night munchies to rest!
Daily movement can help you make healthier decisions in the kitchen. When your appetite feels insatiable and you find yourself browsing the kitchen, try going for a walk or getting in a workout. In addition to benefiting your mind and body from exercising, you’re more likely to make healthier food decisions post-workout. Even if you reach for a snack, a 15-minute walk could reduce the amount you consume by half(2).
Up Your Protein Intake
Increasing your protein intake can help reduce hunger cravings and keep you feeling full longer. Out of the three macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat), protein is the most filling(3). By simply increasing your protein intake to 25% of your daily calories (which is easy to do when you have delicious bars to choose from!) you could reduce food cravings by up to 60% (4).
Stabilize Your Blood Sugar
Speaking of protein, protein intake may have another benefit when it comes to curbing cravings – helping to stabilize blood sugar levels! Sugary snacks and too many carbs can spike blood sugar, which may increase the appetite and lead to food cravings. Keep your blood sugar balanced by pairing carbs with a source of protein and fat! Protein and fat digest slower in the body, helping to prevent blood sugar from spiking. When you’re hungry, reach for a Level Protein Bar. With a balance of macronutrients, Level bars will curb hunger while satisfying any cravings.
Think about the last meal you ate. Where were you and what were you doing? Eating while standing, watching tv, driving, or talking on the phone can result in missed hunger cues, causing us to overeat. We have a simple solution: practice mindful eating! Try these mindful eating tips during your next meal.
- Chew slowly and enjoy what you’re eating!
- Consider how your food tastes and smells
- Try to eat at consistent times every day
- Try to sit down versus eating your food on the go
Clean Out Your Kitchen
Why tempt yourself with unhealthy food choices? If it’s not in your kitchen, you’ll be less likely to consume it! Clean out your kitchen and remove any not-so-healthy options (think: processed foods and sugary snacks like soda and candy).
The best part? You don’t have to fully break up with your favorite foods, so to speak. If there is an unhealthy snack you love, chances are there’s a healthier version on the market! Craving chips? Try kale chips. In the mood for oatmeal cookies? Grab our Oat Cookie Protein Bar. By filling your kitchen with healthy choices, you’ll be more likely to reduce cravings and snack smarter.
Learn About Your Food
At Level, we’re all about transparency – that’s why we tell you exactly what’s in our bars. Better yet – we tell you why the ingredients are good for your health! Be your own advocate when it comes to your diet.
Educate yourself about how to properly fuel your body, and be aware of what ingredients are in your foods. While many brands appear healthy, the ingredients may say otherwise! Here are some things to consider:
- Read the ingredient label first! Prioritize ingredients over calories.
- Where are the ingredients sourced? Are the ingredients GMO or Organic? What other certifications does the brand have?
- Look for ingredients you can pronounce. Don’t recognize it? Your body probably won’t either!
- Schmid, S. M., Hallschmid, M., Jauch-Chara, K., Born, J., & Schultes, B. (2008). A single night of sleep deprivation increases ghrelin levels and feelings of hunger in normal-weight healthy men. Journal of sleep research, 17(3), 331–334.
- Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016) Taxonomic revision of Rochefortia Sw. (Ehretiaceae, Boraginales). Short walk cuts chocolate consumption in half. Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e7720.
- Halton, T. L., & Hu, F. B. (2004). The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 23(5), 373–385.
- Leidy, H. J., Tang, M., Armstrong, C. L., Martin, C. B., & Campbell, W. W. (2011). The effects of consuming frequent, higher protein meals on appetite and satiety during weight loss in overweight/obese men. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 19(4), 818–824.