How to Fight Cravings after Weight Loss Surgery
Cravings are a foul trick your mind and body play on you to attempt you to give in and eat something that you know you shouldn’t. When cravings get severe, there is almost nothing that can stop you from wanting that treat. However, just because you are dealing with a craving, that doesn’t mean your body actually needs the sweet thing you are craving.
As much as you might long for your favorite snack or the salty satisfaction of a bag of chips, those longings are not anything close to the pangs for nutrients that your body would experience if you truly needed something in your diet. Cravings are the physical manifestation of temptation. They often come out of nowhere and can be incredibly strong, making even the most dedicated of dieters stray from their nutrition plan in the name of a sweet snack. After weight loss surgery, managing those cravings is going to be more important than ever.
Here are a few tips to help you cope with cravings:
- Be Smart. Where is the craving coming from? Often, cravings are prompted by advertising or memories. Other times, it is simply stress and a desire for comfort food. Really consider what is causing your particular craving.
- Be Deliberate. If you are going to give into a craving, don’t be reckless about it. Plan ahead. Eating when you are not hungry contributes to weight gain. Before giving into a craving, figure out if you are actually hungry. If you aren’t hungry, there is no reason to eat.
- Be Reasonable. Rather than telling yourself “no,” it is a better idea to think of it as something you can have later. This will reduce the pangs for immediate gratification, especially if you realize you aren’t hungry at that moment. Once the craving goes away you can make a rational decision about what to eat.
Many people don’t realize this, but cravings are actually quite scientific. They are prompted by a number of neurological factors within the body. One of these primary factors is your body’s stress response. A tough day at work or a series of stressful interactions with friends and family members at home can trigger your mind to want comfort, and that comfort is typically connected with certain foods.
The absolute worst thing you can do when a craving strikes is attempt to ignore it. The longer a craving sits, the stronger it is going to get. Telling yourself to ignore something typically makes the thought stronger, like throwing oil on a fire. A much better strategy is to address the craving and consciously ride the urge to its completion.