Menopause is an incredibly difficult time for many women, with wild mood swings, hot flashes, insomnia and many other irritating symptoms manifesting to influence every aspect of life.
A seemingly benign symptom of menopause is the craving for rich, dense foods. However, cravings can be so intense as to reduce concentration and, if indulged, severely increase weight gain. Fatigue can also be promoted by eating sugary foods, as the stereotypical “sugar crash” combines with existing tiredness and lack of motivation. Many may feel helpless when facing this rigorous array of symptoms, but many can alleviated, with food cravings being no exception. There are fortunately several ways to eliminate the craving for sugary and fattening foods during menopause. Next, you will learn how to stop food cravings during menopause.
Eliminating Food Cravings during Menopause
1. Occasionally indulgeIt is often beneficial to indulge yourself with a sample of the food that is presently being craved. With this small sample, however, one must appreciate all aspects of the food: the taste, aroma, texture and nostalgia. Often times mildly indulging a craving can eliminate desire, allowing you to focus on more pressing things.
It is easy to overindulge when sampling, however, so care must be taken to ensure that only a small serving is consumed. If it is impossible to refrain from having an entire serving following a small sample, such a practice should probably be avoided, as it will be counterproductive over a prolonged period of time.
2. Remain occupiedFor those who are unable to have just a sample of their beloved food, perpetually remaining occupied or otherwise distracted from thoughts of food will prove effective in combating cravings. This can be accomplished even at work, where you can walk during breaks or visit coworkers for brief colloquies. Remaining stagnant only worsens cravings for food. At home, it is important to refrain from completing tasks in or around the kitchen, as this will tempt one to satisfy any cravings for food. Instead of working indoors, one should get away from temptations of food by spending more time outside.
3. Don’t buy unhealthy foodsAlthough it can tempting to purchase an abundance of tasty yet unhealthy items when grocery shopping, especially when telling yourself that moderation will be implemented, this practice must be reduced or completely eliminated to ensure greater success in getting rid of food cravings. To guarantee that unhealthy choices are not purchased, one needs simply to not shop for groceries while hungry.
4. Stay adequately hydrated throughout the whole dayBecause thirst and hunger can easily be confused for one another, it is important to remain hydrated throughout the entirety of the day to ensure that hunger isn’t misrepresented. Most professionals recommend between six and eight glasses of water each day. Healthy teas, such as green tea and chamomile, also count toward this total, and can be used to bring variety into your hydration regimen.
5. Take naps during the dayNaps taken during the day can reduce both stress and fatigue, both of which contribute to cravings for sugary food. These naps should be limited, however, as they can decrease your overall metabolism, promoting menopausal weight gain and increasing cravings for food. Naps also can add to fatigue if taken too frequently.
6. Implement substitutions and alternativesMany foods can be substituted with a healthier and less detrimental alternative. A craving for french fries, for example, can be satisfied by eating lightly salted potato strips instead. A pie craving can similarly be fulfilled by eating topped graham crackers. Although these alternatives may not be quite as satisfying as their denser counterparts, they taste similar and are much healthier options. Most substitutions such as these contain much less fat, sugar and calories than the richer versions.
Cravings for certain foods during menopause are an extremely common occurrence, but are nonetheless detrimental. Especially when combined with the other symptoms of menopause you are likely to experience, food cravings can cause a lack of concentration and an increase in weight gain.
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