Nutritionist reveals top tips to curb those high-calorie cravings – including getting more sleep

Nutritionist reveals top tips to curb those high-calorie cravings – including getting more sleep

Most Brits enjoy indulging into a chocolate bar or slice of cake after a hard day at work – but these constant cravings can make it difficult to shift those pesky pounds.

Food experts have warned that the additional snack could cause you to gain weight over the long term.

Snacks are often consumed in between meals, but many people on a diet usually avoid them all together – leading to dips in sugar levels and increased hunger when food is finally eaten.

Nutritionist Signe Svanfeldt at Lifesum told The Sun that most people crave calorie-dense foods that are high in sugar, saturated fat and sodium – all of which contain little nutrients.

The expert revealed that these unhealthy cravings often occur due to restrictions in your diet.

Other causes include lack of sleep, unbalanced meals, and eating too little, claims Signe.

Psychotherapist Audrey Stephenson explained that cravings can be managed when food isn’t used as a reward.

Stephenson told The Telegraph: “Sugar gives a dopamine hit, so even if we are not physiologically addicted to sugar, we can certainly be psychologically addicted to the way we perceive it makes us ‘feel’ – the sense of comfort or happiness it evokes.”

Cravings are linked to the feeling you experienced when you ate the food, such as reminding you of a happy place, or a sense of achievement.

The perception of food needs to change, to be able to tackle these cravings, explains therapist Marisa Peer.

Peer added that you will be able to ‘reprogramme’ yourself, by taking into consideration what makes up the food.

For example, acknowledging that sweets are loaded with boiled-up cow’s bones.

She said: “We need to get our brains to recognise these foods for what they are and then we stop seeing them as a reward.”

Another tip Peer recommends to patients is to eat slowly, allowing your body to recognise when it is full.

Certain cravings, such as a glass of wine, could be linked to blood sugar dysregulation, claims Lara Hughes, nutritionist and founder of Wholistic Health by Lara.

She advises to replace these cravings with a nutritional snack, such as a whole oatcake or an apple dipped in nut butter.

Remember to rehydrate
Coffee cravings may be down to dehydration, claims Lara.

“Water is key for all bodily processes – including metabolism and energy.

“When we’re dehydrated, we can often feel tired and sluggish – triggering cravings for coffee,” she said.

Swap your fourth cup of coffee with a few glasses of water – remember to aim for two litres every day.

The hot brew is often consumed because people feel sluggish, this can be down to a lack of sleep.

Previous research has revealed that a lack of sleep can increase hunger levels – making us prone to snaking.

This hunger drive entices people to opt for high sugar snacks – lacking in nutritional value.

Cutting down on your snacks is likely to put you in a calorie deficit, which is key for weight loss.

How can I ease my cravings?
Unhealthy cravings can get in the way of your weight loss goals.

Signe recommends the following tips to banish those pesky cravings:

Eat balanced meals, rich in fibre, protein and unsaturated fat

Ensure you get a healthy amount of sleep

Consume nutritious foods in your diet, rather than exclude certain foods

Eat an adequate amount of energy during the day