I’m a nutritionist – here’s how to beat your snack cravings to blast belly fat

ADDICTION is perfectly normal and everyone should indulge in it from time to time.

But experts say your extra bags of chips or candy bars could lead to weight gain in the long run.

When you're trying to lose weight, cravings can make it difficult

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When you’re trying to lose weight, cravings can make it difficultPhoto credit: Getty

Snacks often fill a gap between meals, but many people trying to lose weight often skip them all at once.

This can lead to a drop in blood sugar levels, increased hunger and appetite when you finally get around to eating.

Lifesum nutritionist Signe Svanfeldt told The Sun that most of the time people crave high-calorie foods, high in sugar, saturated fat and sodium, which are often not rich in nutrients.

Signe explains that cravings for a certain treat can arise for a number of reasons, even if you have too many restrictions in your diet.

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She also says that eating too little during the day, unbalanced meals, and lack of sleep can lead to cravings.

These are tough to deal with – but they’ll definitely make you feel better.

Many people use food as a reward, the candy bar at the end of the day as a reward for hard work, or the glass of wine as a reward after a stressful day with their mother-in-law.

Psychotherapist Audrey Stephenson explained that stopping this behavior could help with your cravings.

“Sugar gives a dopamine hit, so even if we’re not physiologically addicted to sugar, we can certainly be psychologically addicted to the way we perceive it to make us ‘feel’ — the sense of comfort or happiness that it creates,” Stephenson told The Telegraph.

They ended up saying that many food cravings are due to the feeling you experience when you eat something.

Maybe it reminds you of that happy place or gives you a sense of accomplishment.

It’s your perception of food that needs to change, and once you change that thinking, you’ll be able to banish those cravings, says therapist Marisa Peer.

She explained that you can “reprogram” yourself by thinking about what makes up your food.

Marisa said candy is essentially full of cooked cow bones and muffins are cakes that people eat for breakfast — a concept she branded “ridiculous.”

How can I prevent cravings?

Cravings are normal, but they can get in the way of a healthy, balanced diet.

Signe said that to prevent your cravings, here’s what you should do:

  • Include nutritious foods in your diet rather than excluding certain foods
  • consume enough energy during the day
  • Eat balanced meals rich in fiber, protein and unsaturated fat
  • have enough sleep

“We have to get our brains to recognize these foods for what they are, and then we stop seeing them as rewards,” she added.

When she coaches patients, she encourages them to eat slowly so your body knows when it’s full.

If you’re struggling, she advises clenching your palms into a fist to remind you of the size of your stomach.

Lara Hughes, nutritionist and founder of Wholistic Health by Lara, said your cravings — such as a nice glass of wine — could be due to blood sugar dysregulation.

Instead of reaching for the bottle, Lara advises, take a moment to find a nutritious snack.

This could be something like a whole oatcake or apple dipped in nut butter, or a few chunks of dark chocolate (which boosts feel-good hormones even without the alcohol) with a handful of unsalted nuts. Then see if you still want the glass of red…

REHYDRATE

When it comes to caffeine cravings, Lara said it could be due to dehydration.

“Water is key to all bodily processes – including metabolism and energy.

“When we’re dehydrated, we often feel tired and sluggish — which triggers coffee cravings.”

She advises that the next time you consider a fourth cup of coffee, opt for a few glasses of water (aim for 2 liters daily) and see if you still feel crappy.

Most people reach for coffee or tea because they feel weak – which can also be due to a lack of sleep.

Many studies have shown that people who don’t get enough sleep have high levels of hunger hormones – which makes us more prone to snacking.

For this reason, you are more likely to eat sugar-rich foods.

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So if you want to banish cravings, it’s time to take care of your snooze.

Successfully cutting back on your snacks will likely put you in a calorie deficit, which is key to weight loss.

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https://www.the-sun.com/health/5549718/nutritionist-beat-snack-cravings-blast-belly-fat/ I’m a nutritionist – here’s how to beat your snack cravings to blast belly fat

Sarah Y. Kim

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