Got serious cravings?
If staying health-conscious is a constant struggle for you, good news: You don’t need to tough it out.
Here are 3 easy strategies that stave off sudden cravings and keep your weight (and calories) in check:
1. Seriously increase your protein intake.
Research published in Obesity found that overweight men who increased their protein intake by 25 percent had significantly fewer cravings. It was incredibly satiating, and kept their caloric intake low.
To take advantage, try eating more protein during breakfast to encourage you to eat less; research also shows a small breakfast predicts a smaller food intake throughout the day.
2. Chew gum instead.
You may think chewing anything during a craving could spell disaster, but this trick actually works, according to researchers.
A 2015 study showed that people who chewed gum in lieu of satisfying a craving (such as fried chicken) were less likely to binge due to how it imitated the process of eating.
Make sure to reach for sugar-free gum, however; regular gum is often chocked full of sugar.
3. Drink a lot.
But this doesn’t refer to alcohol. Instead, it refers to water, which can help people feel fuller and less prone to dehydration, which can also make people hungrier.
More is better too.
Research from 2014 shows that overweight women who drank 1.5 more liters of water per day experienced fewer hunger signals.
Don’t forget that not all cravings are necessarily bad, however; sometimes it’s the body’s way of saying you’re deficient in a key mineral or vitamin.
Remember, a balanced–and not an extreme–diet is key to staying slim.