How do you eat without being hungry

12 tips on how to avoid and deal with cravings

Personally, I become a diva when I'm hungry. You also? It used to be even worse, I couldn't handle it well. Not much has changed today in the fact that my mood has turned and I'm a lot more irritable. Nevertheless, I have learned a few tricks with which I can avoid cravings and, if necessary, deal with it reasonably well. Maybe you feel the same now and then. You eat a reasonably healthy diet, but you keep getting "eating flashes". Let's get to the bottom of this.

Where does the cravings come from?

We could illuminate the whole thing scientifically. I could now cite great studies, but what was it like: “Don't believe any statistics that you have not falsified yourself!” !?

Roughly speaking, it's about blood sugar levels. It suddenly falls and we are hungry. For me this is the case when the last meal was not very productive. That means, "fast" carbohydrates like a piece of cake or the like cause the blood sugar to rise rapidly, after which it quickly falls again. Or it is between four and six hours since the last meal. Sometimes you just missed the time to organize your next meal. Going to the cafeteria, cooking yourself - whatever. It's different for everyone.

At some point we all get hungry. And we all think differently. So the following tips don't have to work, but it can! I can only recommend what works for myself. So when you're hungry, do the following:

1. Have a glass of water

We're big water fans. There is nothing wrong with water. It has no calories, helps our body with digestion, and is very cheap when you drink tap water. We often mistake hunger for thirst. So if you are hungry, check internally when you last had a drink. Sometimes the feeling of hunger is over after a glass of water.

2. Wait 15 minutes

Look at the clock and make an appointment with yourself in 15 minutes. If you still have cravings, you can eat something. Often, however, you will be distracted in 15 minutes and no longer think about it.

3. Distract yourself

Distraction through a "flow feeling" - that is the method that works best for me. If I am immersed in something or just have a lot to do, I never even think of eating anything. What activity makes you immerse yourself and lose track of time? Read? Have a hobby? Researching your hobby on the internet?

4. Avoid couch potato evenings

The cravings come especially in the evening. Why? Because we've pulled ourselves together all day. In the evening the body lets loose. The mind too. The worries are coming. The hunger comes. Try to avoid this situation by looking for a nice activity that also relaxes you, but not only lets you passively. Meet up with friends, do sports, be active in clubs, read a book. This is less of a temptation for you.

5. Move yourself

And again I am referring to our book. We have already described there that sport helps us forget pain, worries, fears and hunger. So if you get hungry, go for a ten minute walk. Or longer. Similar to the 15-minute rule, you can make a deal with yourself that you can eat something afterwards if the cravings are still there. But he won't.

6. Chew gum

Chewing gum is also controversial (because of aspartame, etc.), but because of the chewing it can actually help with cravings.

7. Brush your teeth

What people with disordered eating exaggerate can be a trick for you as a healthy person to counter the evening cravings on the couch. If you've already brushed your teeth, you're less likely to reach for chocolate.

8. Have something healthy to hand

I've found that with acute cravings, it doesn't really matter what I eat. It has to have a certain volume so that I can hold out for a while until I can get my next meal. It's a shame when I don't have anything to hand apart from hardcore chocolate bars. They have a lot of energy. Two pieces will probably cover half the daily calorie requirement.

That's why I try to always have something healthy to nibble on. A carrot is recommended because it is low in calories and I have to chew for a while. That alone is filling. After that I don't need to have a guilty conscience. Of course, the vitamins don't bother either.

Alternatively, there are other types of vegetables, such as B. cucumbers or tomatoes (high water content), kohlrabi and radish. If you're more likely to reach for fruit, that's okay too. Scholars also argue about fructose, but in any case it is preferable to biscuits.

9. Make a note of what you eat

“Write a food diary” sounds pretty unsexy. But it actually helps. Nutritionists also recommend nothing more than writing down what you eat when and how much. At times I also wrote down why I ate something. "Hunger" wasn't always there. The reasons can also be “social obligation” while drinking coffee with grandma or boredom, frustration or appetite.

You can put these notes on a notepad, digitally in a Google Doc, in an email draft or Evernote. You should be able to do it from anywhere.

This exercise helps to make you even aware of how often you give in to your (hot) hunger. Perhaps the list already gives you the motivation to use the tips in this post to get over cravings without eating.

10. Don't skip meals

Some try to lose weight by doing this, others don't get to eat in the hectic pace of everyday life. It's a tricky strategy because, in principle, we won't die if we skip a meal. Very few of them do not have a hunger attack later on. If, as soon as the hustle and bustle has subsided, you have pent up your hunger and then stuffed a very large amount into yourself, you have done little.

Most of us need three regular meals. If you need four or five, that's okay too. With larger meals, digestion has more struggles anyway, which is why we feel sluggish and tired. Try to eat enough that you feel after it better as before feel.

11. Eat healthy and use spices

The healthier you eat, the less cravings you will experience. In addition, spices (many also say: spiciness) make us fuller. So a meal lasts longer.

Eating healthy also means cooking. The reasons why you should cook yourself more often and how you can do it can be found in another post. Let our recipes help you with this.

12. Eat consciously

The most important advice is: eat slowly and consciously! This is the only way to enjoy a meal and be full. If you just gobble something down quickly and while standing, your brain won't even notice that this was the meal.

Take your time. Avoid screens while eating (cell phone, TV, tablet, computer). They distract you. Reading is also a distraction. Don't listen to hectic music or talk on the phone while you eat. Don't argue either.

Focus on your food. Smell and taste consciously. Look closely. Perceive flavors. That sounds esoteric, but who does it today? We first have to go to expensive restaurants in order to really take our time and “taste it” exactly.

As you can see, mindfulness is once again the be-all and end-all. What tips do you have against food cravings? I look forward to your feedback!

You can find more on this topic here: How to keep your diet under control.

Addendum: I got the feedback that some tips are not exactly suitable for employees. That's true. A walk is not always possible. All the more I would be interested in your strategies against cravings - also in the office. It helped me to drink a lot in the office, to have something healthy to nibble on, to immerse myself in the most beautiful tasks (flow feeling) or to distract myself. An extensive breakfast helped me hold out longer until lunch. Even a small (possibly digital) food diary and chewing gum are no problem in many offices. What tips do you have?

Photo: Man at the Shutterstock fridge

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