Health food recipes weightloss : 5 Quick Ways to Stop Craving Junk Food

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5 Quick Ways to Stop Craving Junk Food

Are you a junk food junkie? Maybe you've never met a
dessert you didn't love, or maybe you prefer salty potato
chips and fries. Either way, if you overindulge, you're
loading your body with calories while depriving it of real
nutrition.

   Junk food is fine in moderation and on special
occasions, but what about those cravings that hit you at
the most inconvenient times - or, worse, the cravings that
just never seem to go away at all?

   Improbable as it seems, they can be tamed. Here are
five proven strategies for ending junk food cravings.


 Tip 1: Control blood sugar spikes and crashes.

   When we stuff ourselves with highly refined
carbohydrates, which most junk food tends to be, our blood
sugar rapidly climbs. Then, because our bodies process
these carbs so quickly, we experience a blood sugar crash.

   Low blood sugar increases hunger, urging us to go out
and do it all over again.

   To avoid this cycle, eat small but frequent meals
throughout the day. Never skip meals; recent studies have
shown that dieters are more likely to binge on junk food
if they haven't eaten in several hours.

   To really knock out cravings, combine a healthy fat
with some protein and complex carbohydrates, like a
tablespoon of peanut butter on whole grain bread. It will
be more nutritious and more satisfying than the junk food
your body is asking for.

   Tip 2: Avoid artificial sweeteners and MSG.

   When we eat sweet-tasting foods, our bodies produce
insulin, whether those sweet-tasting foods actually
contain sugar or a sugar substitute.

   These findings were reported in the British Medical
Journal in 2004, along with the result of eating foods
sweetened with artificial sweeteners: deprived of the real
sugar it was anticipating, the body experiences stronger
sugar cravings at the next meal.

   MSG (mono sodium glutamate) is a flavor-enhancer found
in many prepared foods in grocery stores and at
restaurants.

   MSG has also been linked to incessant food cravings,
including the infamous 'Chinese restaurant syndrome': you
eat the food, then feel hungry an hour later.

   (It should be noted that many Chinese restaurants now
offer MSG-free foods.) Other foods, such as grated
parmesan cheese and pre-made soups, contain MSG.

   It's almost impossible to cut artificial flavor
enhancers out of your diet completely, but you can take
steps to reduce the amount you consume.

   Eat natural foods you prepare yourself. Don't consume
too many diet sodas. Instead, hydrate with water or
decaffeinated tea.

   If you crave something sweet, go ahead and have real
sugar in moderation. If you give your body a little of
what it wants, it's less likely to demand more at the next
meal.

   Tip 3: Learn to identify emotional eating triggers.

   Emotional eating is a real problem for millions of
people. Some people use food as a way to find a sense of
fulfillment. Others use it to soothe themselves when they
are in pain. This can lead to frequent strong cravings for
"comfort food".

   Kaiser Permanente just concluded a study on effective
treatments for binge eating disorder. They found that food
journals are a key element.

   By recording what they ate and why, binge eaters were
able to identify the events and thought patterns that led
to overeating.

   These findings can be seen in the April issue of the
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

   Tip 4: Cheat (but only a little.)

   If you find yourself demoralized by a craving that
won't go away, give yourself permission to indulge a
little. In the long-run, it's better to have that half-cup
of ice cream than to keep denying yourself and obsessing
over it.

   Simply adjust your plan to include a little more
exercise that day, or take away extra calories from
another meal to compensate.

   Tip 5: Have a medical exam.

   Constant cravings can be a sign of a more serious
condition, such as diabetes. A quick and inexpensive
fasting blood sugar test will let you know if your blood
glucose level falls within the normal range.

   Diabetes is highly manageable when caught early, so be
sure to have a screening if you have diabetic relatives,
or if you experience increased hunger, thirst, or
urination.

   Junk food cravings can be significantly reduced by
addressing the underlying health issues that sometimes
cause them.