Living in San Diego means we’re constantly faced with the temptation of delicious food (we’re looking at you, Donut Bar). The cravings only intensify during the holiday season when our regular hankerings are accompanied by cookies, cocktails, and indulgent appetizers at every turn. Coupled with the added stresses of the season like gift shopping, family gatherings, and holiday traffic, it’s not surprising that many of us end up gaining a few pounds by the time we ring in the New Year.
While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, constant cravings for calorie-dense holiday treats can sabotage your plans to lose weight. Luckily, there are some simple strategies you can try that will help you fight food cravings and keep you on track towards a happier, healthier you.
- Drink more water
Dehydration often manifests itself as food cravings. If you’re drooling over the dessert table at your family party, drink a glass of water and wait a few minutes. The intensity of your craving will likely subside.
- Get enough sleep
When you haven’t gotten enough sleep, your metabolism slows down to conserve energy. This triggers a release of cortisol, which increases a person’s appetite and food cravings. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night to avoid cravings.
- Cut down on caffeine and alcohol
The rollercoaster of caffeine and alcohol in your bloodstream can make you more susceptible to food cravings. You don’t have to completely cut coffee from your morning routine or wine from your evening ritual, but watching your intake could help fight food cravings.
- Just say “no” to sweets
“I’ll just have one!” Those are most everyone’s famous last words before devouring a whole pan of candy cane brownies. Studies show that eating foods with a high glycemic index makes it harder to say no to second helpings, so you’re better off passing on the sweet stuff all together.
- Eat small, frequent meals
The traditional practice of eating three big meals per day creates fluctuations in your blood sugar levels, which can contribute to food cravings. Keep your blood sugar levels consistent and food cravings out of the picture with five smaller meals spaced evenly throughout the day.
- Clear your kitchen of temptations
You can’t eat unhealthy food if it’s not in front of you! While there isn’t much you can do about the high-calorie appetizers and desserts at holiday parties, you can rid your own kitchen of tempting foods that could derail your weight-loss goals.
- Find healthy substitutes
Rather than trying to ignore your food cravings (or worse, give into them), find healthy alternatives that will fulfill your needs. For example, instead of ice cream, combine a frozen banana and some cocoa powder in a blender and enjoy a healthier treat.
- Snack on fruit
The craving for sweets tends to hit after lunchtime. Instead of reaching for a sugar cookie in the office break room, eat a handful of strawberries or an apple with almond butter. Not only will these healthy snacks satisfy your craving for something decadent, but their high fiber content will also help fill you up.
- Hit the gym
Consistent physical activity helps regulate your blood sugar levels and gives you a boost of energy, both of which help fight food cravings. Not to mention, exercise is a critical part of any successful weight loss program. Run, bike, swim, or play tennis with a friend. Anything that gets you moving counts!
- Try appetite suppressants
Sometimes, despite your most diligent efforts to avoid temptation and quench your food cravings with healthy alternatives, the desire to indulge is completely overwhelming. In this case, prescription appetite suppressants can make it much easier to stick to a healthy diet and exercise program.
At Viva Wellness, we can help you fight holiday food cravings!
Try as you might to keep tempting treats out of sight, no one is immune to holiday food cravings. If the desire to indulge is too intense to ignore and you feel as though it’s sabotaging your weight loss goals, call us. At Viva Wellness in San Diego, our physicians use a series of safe and effective appetite suppressants to help our patients cope with food cravings and lose weight this holiday season and beyond. Call us today to schedule an appointment to see if our medical weight loss program is right for you!