The right physical activities to kill those sugar cravings
If you’ve tried and failed to diet in the past, you’ve probably noticed that exercise doesn’t do much to help you lose weight. This is discouraging, and for many of us, causes feelings of defeat and makes us eat more. If you’re like most people, the root of the problem is not the exercise, which is good and beneficial. It’s most likely the type of exercise you’re doing that’s at issue.
The physical activities you choose to do can either help curb your appetite and cravings, or they can make no difference, so it’s crucial to target the correct exercise to help you kill cravings, eat less and ultimately lose weight. Below we will answer several questions related to exercise and cravings, and help you find activities that can help you lose weight today.
How Does Exercise Control Cravings?
Studies show that it isn’t exercise that helps us lose weight; it’s eating less. However, when we don’t exercise, we have bigger appetites and more trouble curbing our food and beverage intake. So indirectly, if not directly, exercising right can help us lose weight. Truth be told, this is still a somewhat murky area of science. While researchers are not totally clear how exercise moderates appetite, however, they are clear that it does have an effect on it.
Gretchen Reynolds, writing for the New York Times, explains that the body produces a hormone called ghrelin to tell you to eat. While this hormone is not reduced when we exercise, vigorous physical activity produces other hormones that act on ghrelin.
The result? Our bodies think we are less hungry after a good workout than they would if we just sat still that whole time. Not only that, but after a few months, your body becomes better at judging how many calories are enough to keep you full, and it will become much easier to eat only as much food as you need.
What Kinds of Physical Activity Work Most Effectively
So now you’re wondering what types of exercise will do the trick. Unfortunately, not all types of exercise are equally effective at controlling cravings. In the same New York Times article, Reynolds reports that subjects who walked for an hour didn’t have noticeably reduced appetites compared to those who merely sat during that time. Vigorous hiking, circuit training and fast-paced uphill walking do work.
Whatever you choose, shoot for a sustained elevated heart rate for at least half an hour, ideally longer. And stick to it. Results come after weeks of good exercise. It takes the body time to start regulating calories and hunger.
Which Healthy Snacks Are Best?
Even if your body is better at judging your calorie requirements, you still want to shoot for protein-packed, nutritious and low-calorie foods. If you find you still have sugar cravings once in a while, try a snack or dessert sweetened with a no-calorie, no-glycemic index sugar substitute such as Lakanto. Other options include nuts, yogurt, lean meats, fish and eggs. If you make smoothies, stick to nutritious low-glycemic index foods such as berries, apples, nut butter or veggies.
Killing cravings isn’t easy, but you can absolutely do it if you try. The right physical exercise is an excellent first step.