Food cravings can affect anyone. Some people are better at resisting them than others. For obese and overweight adults, giving in to food cravings can further contribute to obesity and possibly high blood sugar.
Weight loss surgery patients often report changes to their taste and food preferences after their gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery. These changes can naturally help them resist food cravings. But for those still in the process of scheduling their surgery, fulfilling their insurance requirements, or for those still considering if bariatric surgery is right for them, food cravings may still be hard to deal with. Knowing how to effectively handle food cravings can give people the confidence and willpower they need to stay on track with their weight loss diet.
If you are having trouble fighting food cravings, these three methods may help.
- Drink water- Health care professionals often say that the body can misinterpret their thirst for hunger. Drinking a glass of water when a craving strikes, then waiting a few minutes, can help by satisfying the thirst and hopefully beating the craving. Drinking water can also contribute to appetite reduction and weight loss, so drinking water can be a good thing for the body even if it doesn’t eliminate a food craving.
- Exercise- According to research, a quick bout of exercise does a better job at reducing cravings than sitting passively. So if a craving strikes, you can use it as an opportunity to get in some exercise. Take a 15 minute walk, do some push ups, or run the stairs and get your heart pumping. When your heart beat returns to normal, see if your craving remains or if you were able to leave it in the dust.
- Try some mental games- To figure out if your body is really trying to tell you it’s really hungry or if it’s just begging for a treat, try to ask yourself some questions. Would you eat a whole piece of fruit? Would you eat a piece of salmon? Are you hungry enough to eat something you don’t love to eat? Would you take the time to prepare home cooked food to eat? Or are you seeking a comforting food? Or a sugary treat? Or just something to put in your mouth? Would chewing a piece of gum satisfy you? Or are you legitimately hungry? If you’re hungry enough to eat a piece of salmon, a whole piece of fruit, or something you don’t particularly enjoy, then you are probably hungry. Eat something healthy. If you would only want one particular food, your craving is likely more mental than physical. Recognizing that can go a long way to helping you resist the craving.
There are many effective ways people learn to resist food cravings, these are just three options. Find what strategies or combination of strategies works best for you and stick with them. If you are finding food cravings extremely hard to resist, consider speaking with a professional, such as a dietitian or a mental health counselor.
If you are obese and struggling with weight loss, you may be a candidate for gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or gastric band surgery. Call Dr. Shillingford, MD at (561) 483-8840 to schedule a free informational session to learn more about each surgery and which one may be right for you. Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA is a board certified surgeon specializing in advanced laparoscopic and obesity surgery. His gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band surgery patients receive exceptional care during their overnight stay in Northwest Medical Center’s Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery. His sleeve gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, and lap band patients travel not only from local areas like Boca Raton, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale, but also from further distances such as Orlando, Tampa, Wellington, and Jacksonville. Call Dr. Shillingford today at (561) 483-8840 to start your weight loss journey and take back your health.