woman eating carrot cake

Tricks for Controlling Food Cravings

That hunk of chocolate cake. The fork sitting next to it just waiting for you to plunge it into the sweet moist layers, shoveling a huge, rich satisfying heap of chocolate goodness into your mouth, the sweet, decadent icing dissolving on your tongue, the serotonin rushing to your brain Oh, pure joy. Cravings can be hard to deal with, but so can excess calories. If you need some help dealing with temptations, here are a few suggestions.

Drink Water
It may be no match for chocolate cake, but you may find that a few minutes after drinking a large glass of water, your craving may disappear. Water also has health benefits and drinking it before a meal can help keep appetite to a minimum.

More Protein
A study of overweight teenage girls found that eating a breakfast high in protein reduced cravings significantly, and a study of overweight men showed that increasing protein to 25% of daily calorie intake resulted in a 60% reduction of cravings and a 50% reduction in desire for nighttime snacks.

Just Walk Away
One way to beat a craving is by distancing yourself from it. Taking a shower or brisk walk can help to shift your mind to something else, and chewing gum can also help to reduce appetite.

Plan Meals
Knowing what you’re going to eat will help to cut down on spontaneous eating. If you don’t have to think about your next meal, you’ll be less likely to succumb to temptation.

couple prepping food in the kitchen

Don’t Wait to Eat
Hunger is a big reason for cravings. Avoid hunger by eating regularly and keeping healthy snacks close.

Control Stress
Stress can bring on food cravings that lead to binge eating. Studies show that women under stress typically take in significantly more calories and have more cravings than women who are not experiencing stress. Stress can also increase blood levels of cortisol, a hormone that can lead to weight gain, especially in the belly. Minimize stress by planning ahead, slowing down, and meditating.

Spinach Extract
Spinach extract is a supplement made from spinach leaves that helps to delay the digestion of fat that increases the levels of hormones responsible for reduction of hunger and appetite. Studies show that 3.7-5 grams of spinach extract taken with a meal may reduce cravings for several hours. One study showed that overweight women who took 5 grams of spinach extract daily were able to decrease cravings for food with a high level of sugar by 88-95%.

Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a type of meditation used to develop awareness about eating habits, hunger and physical sensations, which teaches you to distinguish between craving and real physical hunger. Mindful eating helps you to choose your response to food, rather than acting impulsively. Mindful eating involves being present during a meal, slowing down and chewing food thoroughly, and should be done without distractions such as TVs and smartphones. One study found that episodes of binge eating in individuals were reduced from 4 to 1.5 sessions per week over a 6 week period, and the severity of the binges was decreased, as well.

How do you fight your food cravings? Let us know what you do when the urge to indulge hits!

Woman having lunch

Eat Like a Supermodel

It’s no secret that the world’s top supermodels train hard to keep in shape, but exercise is only part of the equation to their enviable bodies. Supermodels also are very intentional about what foods go into their bodies, making sure that they are eating foods that are high in vitamins and nutrients. With just three tips, you can eat like a supermodel and truly nourish your body.

Start Your Morning Right
Many supermodels begin their day by drinking warm water with lemon. “Hot water with lemon to start the day, it’s really good and it stimulates the digestive systems,” says Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr. Vanessa Packer of modelFIT, the New York City gym used by models like Karlie Kloss, Martha Hunt and Miranda Kerr, is also an advocate of beginning the morning with light foods. “Begin your day with warm water and lemon followed by a juice or smoothie, which will boost alkalinity [aka your body’s best natural pH for your cells to thrive], give you energy with raw and living vitamins and minerals, and will hydrate you and prep you for the day ahead.”

Stop Counting Calories
“I never count calories. I base my meal plans and system of eating on seasonality, alkalinity and food combining,” says Packer. Victoria’s Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel agrees. “I eat whatever I want, but to me it needs to be healthy – I always think about what sort of vitamins are in the food and what it’s giving my body…I make sure I eat a lot of protein, carbohydrates, good sugars and good fats.” Eliminating calorie counting isn’t a license to go crazy, you still need to be thoughtful about what foods you are eating to make sure you’re filling your body with essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

Woman eating protein bar.

Snack Smart
Kate Upton swears by her daily snacks of 10 raw almonds, green juice and protein bars. Vanessa Packer advises her model clients about snacking saying, “I’m not a big snacker because I think it’s important to sit down and enjoy a meal; your body responds better to that. However, if you are a gal on the go, try packing some crudite with hummus or smashed avocado, or even summer rolls are a great option.” Although Upton snacks on nuts, Packer says to proceed with caution when it comes to eating nuts as your snack. Says Packer, “[y]es they are healthy fats and are packed with protein, but they are very heavy on the digestive system and very dehydrating. Also, if you opt for roasted instead of raw, they become very fattening because the oil found in nuts is compromised when heated.” Eat raw nuts, in moderation and be sure to hydrate with plenty of water after snacking.

The days of the diet coke and cigarette diet are over for models, today they eat real food that provides nourishment and energy to keep up with their demanding schedules. These tips not only help you eat like a supermodel and get into fashion week shape, they are excellent tips for giving your body the nutrition that it requires to keep you healthy and happy.