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Taming the craving

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SO you’ve eaten your fill and you feel as though you have truly had enough. But your tummy keeps rumbling for more food.

BY Rebecca Laske 16 September, 2008 – 09:21

This is probably because you have stretched your stomach and once we get used to eating a lot, we need more food to fill us up.

Women are more prone to food cravings than men. The reasons for this are not entirely clear, but many specialists suggest that it is the increased amount of hormone fluctuations that women experience from menstruation, the contraceptive pill, pregnancy and menopause, which are responsible for their higher tendency to get food cravings.

Fortunately, there are ways to control cravings without making yourself feel deprived of food. Here are some useful tips on how to curb your eating habits after the big winter binge:

Try cutting back on calories on the days when your appetite is low. One of the biggest dangers is not in the indulgence of your cravings, but in not recognising that it is over. You may find yourself with the habit of continuing to eat more than you need.

Secondly, keep up your exercise program. Exercise is vital for enhancing feelings of well-being and stabilising blood sugar levels. It also acts as a natural appetite control and you have the added benefit of having burned those extra calories.

Similarly, you should eat a proper breakfast every day. Many people, women especially, think that if they skip breakfast when they are not feeling too hungry that this will help them diet. The fact is, by not eating breakfast you simply increase your chances of getting powerful food cravings later in the day.

If you are still craving food, you can always try turning a food craving into a liquid one. For example if you crave a savoury snack like crisps, try to think of things you could drink to satisfy them in liquid form, like tomato juice or V8 juice with Worcestershire sauce instead of peanuts and crisps.

Finally, nutritionists have long seen the link between stress, intestinal acidity and consequent weight gain. When we are stressed, the level of acid in our intestines increases. Too much acidity hampers digestion of nutrients and vitamins, while encouraging the absorption of fats and cholesterol from food.

Therefore, those of us with acidic intestines tend to crave more food because we haven’t absorbed all the goodness from what we’ve already eaten.

However, apples are thought to make digestion more efficient, thereby making us less prone to cravings. So why not try an apple next time the cravings become unbearable!

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