I’m a psychologist and these 5 simple steps will stop sugar cravings

WHEN food cravings strike, we are left with the choice of giving in to that donut or finding a way out.

A psychologist has uncovered a seven-step process to help shake off cravings.

Cravings feel the urge to eat tons of sweets


Cravings feel the urge to eat tons of sweetsPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

A craving is a sudden and intense urge to eat something, often sweet but perhaps savory.

Unlike real hunger, which causes us to queue physically, a craving is a craving for a reward or a dopamine boost.

dr Meg Arroll, a graduate psychologist at wellness brand Healthspan, told The Sun that while the craving is overwhelming, it usually only lasts about three minutes.

That means you can quickly nip it in the bud and then get on with your day.

“Taking your attention away from a craving for that short amount of time can really help the craving pass — so think of activities you can do for three minutes,” said Dr. meg

“Maybe belting out your favorite ballad at the top of your lungs, or cradling a stress ball at work.

“In place jumping jacks can also help and also offer the double whammy of a short exercise.

“A three-minute progressive muscle relaxation exercise where you tense and release each muscle group, starting with your toes and working your way toward your face, is also a really good way to distract and relax your mind and body.”

If you find that a little dance or breathing exercise isn’t enough to drive away thoughts of chocolate or chips, Dr. Meg put together a more science-based alternative.

It is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of therapy that aims to understand how thoughts, feelings and behavior are intertwined.

dr Meg said, “We can tweak each of these to affect the others.”

“When it comes to cravings, ‘frustration intolerance’ is a useful CBT concept,” said Dr. meg

“[This is] how low the bar (consisting of thoughts and feelings) is before you give in to the urge to eat (the behavior).

“Although distraction is a good way to control cravings because many different situations trigger these urges, you can also use this element of CBT to develop a higher level of tolerance.”

The following seven steps form the internal remote control exercise.

1. When the craving for food or drink occurs, press the pause button on your personal remote control and stay in your tracks.

2. While your body is in this freeze frame, watch in your mind’s eye as you give in to the desire.

This may include the brief gratification you usually get after eating a snack – be honest without educating yourself on how the scene usually unfolds.

3. Next, breathe deeply through your diaphragm for a few moments and fast forward this scene after You gave in to the craving (for example, an hour later).

Now ask yourself: how does it feel? Are you disappointed that you folded?

The uncomfortable feelings of guilt, shame, and self-blame that usually accompany eating behaviors can feel pretty strong right now, but try not to suppress these feelings as they will help you.

4. After seeing the future, press rewind on your remote and bring yourself back to the present, but this time watch the scene play out again from where you are Not give in to desire.

Here you understand that you are not physically hungry, and you are not to need the food or drink – the craving is just a thought like any other that can be pushed out of your attention.

You are in control of your actions and can make choices that support your health.

Now ask yourself: How are you feeling? Strong, in control and master of this desire Yes!

5. Finally, with that increased confidence and empowerment, press play and your remote and make your choice about what you want to do.

You have the ability to change your behavior and develop lifelong health-preserving habits.

How to prevent cravings altogether

If you often fall victim to cravings, how can you make them move more permanently?

Nutritionists at ANutr explain that preventing cravings almost always comes down to balancing your meals and snacks.v

At every meal, make sure you’re getting “fiber, a source of protein, and healthy unsaturated fats,” says Charlotte Lily Thompson, Registered Associate Nutritionist.

Keeping it low in sugar and salt is a bonus.

Her favorite snacks include a 30g portion of nuts and a handful of fresh berries; hummus and raw vegetables; Apple slices and nut butter or a baked oat bar.

A balanced snack or meal “helps you maintain steady blood sugar levels throughout the day and keeps you fuller for longer,” Charlotte said.

Charlotte added: “Keep a bottle of water with you at all times as well.

“Thirst can often be confused with hunger. So if you’re hungry after the last meal, drink a glass of water and wait ten minutes – if you’re still hungry, it’s time to grab a snack.”

Emma Moross, qualified nutritionist, said: “If you suddenly have cravings in the evening and want to eat everything in the cupboard, you probably haven’t eaten properly all day!

“Aim for three balanced meals a day that contain whole grain carbohydrates (like brown rice, quinoa, or oats), healthy fats (like olive oil and avocado), and a source of lean protein (like fish, chicken, or tofu).”

Sometimes cravings — which are common throughout pregnancy — are “a red flag for certain health conditions,” Emma said.

“If you’re craving ice cream, for example, it can be a symptom of anemia caused by iron deficiency,” she said.

“Excessive sugar or carbohydrate cravings can be a sign that your blood sugar is out of whack – but some sugar cravings are normal.

“If you have any food cravings that worry you, always talk to your doctor.”

https://www.the-sun.com/health/5531466/stop-sugar-craving-seven-steps-psychologist/ I’m a psychologist and these 5 simple steps will stop sugar cravings

Sarah Y. Kim

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