You started your day with a nourishing breakfast. You enjoyed a healthy meal for lunch. But somehow, as the afternoon drags on, all you can think about is finding a something sugary to satisfy your afternoon craving. If this sounds familiar, you may be wondering how to stop these afternoon cravings. And we've got some great, simple tips to help you gain control over the munchies. But first, let's make sure the difference between hunger and cravings is clear.
The Difference Between Hunger And Cravings
Can you tell the difference between true hunger and empty cravings? When your body needs fuel, it will give you classic hunger cues. These can include low energy, an embarrassingly growling stomach, a little shakiness, problems focusing, and maybe even a headache. Hunger cues generally progress slowly and then disappear once you’ve eaten.
On the other hand, cravings can come on suddenly and out of nowhere and usually have little to do with providing your body with nourishment. They can be triggered when you’re feeling sleepy, anxious, bored, and in need of a little stimulation. And unlike true hunger, it can feel like those cravings are never satisfied.
We all get the munchies from time to time, and the urge to give in to those cravings can be powerful. Here’s what you can do to calm your cravings and start giving your body what it really needs.
8 Ways to Stop Afternoon Cravings
Keep a food journal
Journalling is all about self-awareness, and becoming more aware of how and when your cravings hit can be helpful in understanding how to eliminate them. Simply jot down when a craving strikes, what you’re craving, and how you’re feeling. You may notice that certain activities or stressors trigger your afternoon cravings, which can help prepare you to make healthier choices in the future.
When you’re dehydrated, it’s hard for your body to metabolize glycogen for energy. As a result, you start to crave sugar for a quick energy boost. So, when the munchies strike, drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes. There’s a good chance your cravings will subside.
Improve Your Sleep
It’s harder to resist snacking when you are tired. Poor sleep leads to weight gain because sleep-deprived brains crave food for energy. And that can lead to a bad case of the munchies. Research reveals that sleep-deprived people feel hungrier, and have more trouble controlling themselves when faced with snacks. They end up eating nearly twice as much sweet and fatty foods compared to those who are not sleep deprived.
Move Your Body
If you have a desk job, you know how easy it can be to feel tied to your desk and end up moving very little throughout the day. However, if you want to help control your “hunger hormones” then you need to move more. Next time you have the munchies, get up and go for a walk. Exercise boosts brain plasticity, which makes it easier to change habits and routines that may not be serving you. In fact, you’ll feel the effects of exercise on cravings in as little as 20 minutes after moderate exercise.
Eat More Fiber
Most Americans are not eating the recommended amount of daily fiber. But fiber is key to helping you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar goes through cycles of too-high and then too-low, you start to crave more sugary foods. But foods that are high in fiber help you stay full longer and help level out your blood sugar levels, which results in fewer afternoon cravings.
Brush Your Teeth
This may seem a little odd, but researchers have discovered that mint can control sugar cravings. By suppressing the sweet taste receptors on the tongue, your taste for sugar is decreased. So, before those munchies hit, grab some mint toothpaste, and brush your teeth.
Watch Your Sugar Intake
Sugar is “hidden” in most processed foods. Food companies do this to increase the palatability of their product and because eating sugary foods triggers a huge surge of dopamine. This makes your body continually crave more sugar to get more of that “feel good” chemical. So reducing sweetened foods and sugary drinks from your overall diet can help reduce the occurrence of sugar cravings throughout the day.
Choose Healthier Alternatives
There’s nothing wrong with indulging in something delicious occasionally. In fact, this can help to limit the intense cravings that can come from overly restrictive diets. So when you’re craving something decadent that won’t leave you riddled with guilt, skip the chocolate candy bar and reach for Cacao Bliss instead.
Cacao Bliss is made with only the purest, organic chocolate and a blend of 9 other superfoods that give you natural energy, mental clarity, and supports a healthy inflammatory response. So, you can enjoy a chocolatey treat that satisfies your cravings but won’t compromise your health.
The next time you get the munchies, skip the junk food and grab a mug of delicious Cacao Bliss instead. It’s the perfect superfood alternative for health-focused chocolate lovers everywhere. Click the link below to get yours today!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.