Cravings are public enemy #1 for dieters.
Sure, having to work out more and eat less are challenging, and they also place added physical and mental strain on the body, but that’s not the worst part.
The worst part of dieting is dealing with those intense and uncontrollable cravings. The kind that doesn’t go away. The kind that wakes you up from a deep sleep.
Those kinds of cravings ultimately are the downfall of most people pursuing a body transformation.
But, they don’t have to be.
To help you beat those cravings, we’ve come up with 5 of our best tips to help you beat food cravings and get the weight loss results you want, once and for all!
How to Beat Food Cravings
Eat Enough Protein
Most of us know that consuming enough protein is essential to building muscle and repairing the damage induced by intense exercise. What you might not realize is that consuming sufficient protein during the day can also help beat food cravings, too!
Of all the macronutrients (protein, fats, carbohydrates, and alcohol), protein is the most satiating, which means it keeps you feeling fuller for longer. And, it also helps reduce cravings, too.[1,2]
In fact, some research indicates that when dietary protein accounts for 25% of daily calorie intake, both cravings and the desire to snack are significantly reduced.
Protein is also the most metabolically-demanding macronutrient for your body to breakdown, which means it has to expend more calories to break protein down on a per gram basis than either carbohydrates or fats.
What this means is that you get a “2 for 1” with protein. Not only does it help keep you feeling full, but your body will also burn more calories breaking it down, providing a two-pronged benefit for dieters seeking fat loss.
Meal Plan & Prep
When you plan and prepare your meals for the week, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of cheating on your diet and giving into cravings. The reason for this is that when you meal plan, you know what you’re going to eat each day and when you’re going to eat it.
If you don’t have to waste mental energy trying to figure out what (or when) you’re going to eat, you’re less likely to experience hunger pangs and cravings.
Furthermore, meal planning also helps you stick to a schedule and avoid going for long periods of time without eating. Quite frequently, it’s when we don’t eat for hours on end that we end up going off our meal plan and giving in to cravings.
Planning your weekly meals helps you maintain a consistent eating schedule so that you’re never so hungry that you end up giving into temptation and derailing your diet.
Get Enough Sleep Each Night
Sleep is a vital, yet highly underemphasized, component of weight loss.
Getting adequate sleep is important for ensuring you have enough energy to perform at a high level in your workouts as well as making sure you’re fully recovered from yesterday’s fat-shredding workout too.
But, that’s not all.
Sleep also has a direct impact on your ability to stick to your diet and avoid food cravings.
Well, hunger and cravings are largely dictated by the hormones leptin, ghrelin, and to a smaller extent, cortisol.
Basically, leptin is the hormone that signals our brains that we’ve had enough to eat, while ghrelin is the hormone that signals hunger.
When we’re short on sleep, the delicate balance of these hormones becomes disrupted (decreased leptin and increased ghrelin), leading to poor appetite regulation and stronger cravings for high-calorie salty, sweet snacks.[3,4]
This inevitably leads to consuming an excess of calories, which is part of the reason research finds a strong association between sleep deprivation and obesity.
In other words, if you want to help beat cravings, stay on track with your diet, and achieve the weight loss results you seek, get enough sleep each and every night.
FYI, that means getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night for the vast majority of people.
Building off the previous point, there’s another consequence of sleep deprivation -- increased cortisol levels.
Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone that is released whenever we perceive a threat, be it emotional, physical, or psychological.
Dieting (self-induced calorie deprivation) is, in and of itself, a stressor to the body, so we’re starting off with an elevated baseline of cortisol from the get-go.
Why is this a problem?
Well, cortisol is a catabolic hormone, which means when it’s elevated for prolonged periods of time (e.g. an 8-week fat loss phase), it accelerates protein (muscle) breakdown.
Sleep deprivation is another stressor on the body that increases cortisol levels, and various studies have shown that nutrient partitioning is worse following a night of bad sleep and fat burning is also lowered.[6,7]
- impairs our ability to sleep soundly each night
- induces food cravings, and
- increases calorie intake
To top it off, being stressed all the time can increase your chances for storing more belly fat.[8,9]
Add it all together and you have the perfect recipe for increased cravings, fat gain, and muscle breakdown with less fat burning.
Basically, everything you don’t want to happen does, when you’re stressed and not sleeping enough.
If you want to crush cravings and lose weight successfully, try to limit the amount of stress you expose yourself to each day, and if that’s not possible, seek out ways to improve your response to stress.
Things such as yoga, meditation, reading, and breathing drills all help improve our ability to deal with, and recover from, stress.
Try Appetite Suppressants
We understand just how challenging it can be to deal with food cravings when dieting (we’re human too after all!). As such, we’ve developed our very own 1UP Appetite Suppressant.
Now, if you’ve tried dieting a time or two before, you’ve purchased more than a few supplements touted to help suppress appetite. And, you’ve experienced one of two things:
- Overstimulation and jitters (as a result of too much caffeine in the product), or
- No appetite suppression (due to the fact that the product didn’t contain the proper amounts of proven hunger-suppressing ingredients)
Either way, you didn’t get the results you were looking for.
So, how is 1UP Appetite Suppressant different?
Well, for starters, we don’t rely on a truckload of caffeine like other products on the market. In fact, we don’t use any caffeine whatsoever in our appetite suppressant.
A big part of the reason for this is due to the fact that most people already get in enough caffeine in their diet (coffee, energy drinks, pre-workouts, etc) and don’t need yet another source of caffeine.
The other reason is that we’ve done the research and found non-stimulatory compounds (such as Capsimax, 5-HTP, and Glucomannan) that actually help quash cravings and reduce energy intake.
These nutrients have been shown in research to help increase feelings of fullness, decrease calorie intake, and support weight loss.[10,11,12,13,14]
Cravings are natural and they’re all but commonplace when dieting. Use the tips in this article to help beat those cravings the next time they pop up, and if you need added support, try a serving of 1UP Appetite Suppressant, to help avoid binging, and stay on track with your diet for faster fat loss!
- Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S. (2008). Protein intake and energy balance. Regulatory Peptides, 149(1–3), 67–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.regpep.2007.08.026
- Leidy HJ, Tang M, Armstrong CL, Martin CB, Campbell WW. The effects of consuming frequent, higher protein meals on appetite and satiety during weight loss in overweight/obese men. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011;19(4):818–824. doi:10.1038/oby.2010.203
- Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D, Young T, Mignot E. Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS Med. 2004;1(3):e62. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0010062
- Markwald RR, Melanson EL, Smith MR, et al. Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013;110(14):5695–5700. doi:10.1073/pnas.1216951110
- Cappuccio FP, Taggart FM, Kandala NB, et al. Meta-analysis of short sleep duration and obesity in children and adults. Sleep. 2008;31(5):619–626. doi:10.1093/sleep/31.5.619
- Leproult, R., Copinschi, G., Buxton, O., & Van Cauter, E. (1997). Sleep loss results in an elevation of cortisol levels the next evening. Sleep, 20(10), 865–870.
- Donga, E., van Dijk, M., van Dijk, J. G., Biermasz, N. R., Lammers, G.-J., van Kralingen, K. W., Romijn, J. A. (2010). A single night of partial sleep deprivation induces insulin resistance in multiple metabolic pathways in healthy subjects. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 95(6), 2963–2968. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2009-2430
- Yau YH, Potenza MN. Stress and eating behaviors. Minerva Endocrinol. 2013;38(3):255–267.
- Donoho CJ, Weigensberg MJ, Emken BA, Hsu JW, Spruijt-Metz D. Stress and abdominal fat: preliminary evidence of moderation by the cortisol awakening response in Hispanic peripubertal girls. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011;19(5):946–952. doi:10.1038/oby.2010.287
- Heisler, L. K., Jobst, E. E., Sutton, G. M., Zhou, L., Borok, E., Thornton-Jones, Z., Cowley, M. A. (2006). Serotonin reciprocally regulates melanocortin neurons to modulate food intake. Neuron, 51(2), 239–249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2006.06.004
- Ceci, F., Cangiano, C., Cairella, M., Cascino, A., Del Ben, M., Muscaritoli, M., Rossi Fanelli, F. (1989). The effects of oral 5-hydroxytryptophan administration on feeding behavior in obese adult female subjects. Journal of Neural Transmission, 76(2), 109–117.
- Keithley, J., & Swanson, B. (2005). Glucomannan and obesity: a critical review. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 11(6), 30–34.
- Birketvedt, G. S., Shimshi, M., Erling, T., & Florholmen, J. (2005). Experiences with three different fiber supplements in weight reduction. Medical Science Monitor : International Medical Journal of Experimental and Clinical Research, 11(1), PI5-8.
- Zheng J, Zheng S, Feng Q, Zhang Q, Xiao X. Dietary capsaicin and its anti-obesity potency: from mechanism to clinical implications. Biosci Rep. 2017;37(3):BSR20170286. Published 2017 May 11. doi:10.1042/BSR20170286