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I agree with that. Even if you are not hungry, you have to give something to your body if you want your cravings to stop. Trying to resist is OK but IMO can't last long.
How is your digestion ? I had cravings for years (still have them sometimes but not as often as before) and my therapist found out I had a terrible gut flora and that was gave me cravings. I treated that with lots of pre/probiotics and L-glutamin.
I think you're right and I could benefit from some gut help. Before going primal I had horrible IBS. About a week in I was horrible constipated from the huge change in eating habits but things have leveled out now and are much more normal. But I think there is probably a lot of leftover damage from years of eating gluten and all the IBS that followed.
I would recommend just getting occupied. Finding something to do (that you actually enjoy) can help you keep your mind off of food.
I don't really agree with the advice given above to fast until 5. That works for some, but it's probably not a great idea for someone to go from snacking constantly to simply not eating until the evening.
I should have mentioned I worked up to the 5pm fast. I started with skipping breakfast, then lunch, etc.
Perhaps try skipping breakfast and see what happens and yes stay productive and occupied.
It is actually much more complicated than that. Maybe you have experienced food addiction or don't think it's a real thing, but it is very real and the mind is a powerful thing. If I was able to just pick up and control my actions then I wouldn't be as fat as I am right now. I am making a real effort for change and have seen some impressive and amazing results so far but old habits die hard. It's basically like telling an alcoholic "The rest of your family drinks, and there is beer and wine available in the house, but just CONTROL YOURSELF and don't drink." Even with the healthy foods and snacks in my house (fruits, nuts, nut butter, raw veg) I sometimes find myself saying "Well, it's been a couple hours since breakfast... time for a snack." I often have to stop myself and say "Why am I doing that?" Most of the time it's just a simple habit of walking past the kitchen and, like a robot, opening the pantry or fridge and not real hunger. I'm not following the leptin reset plan my any means but I found the concept of eating a BAB to be really helpful and beneficial to me in keeping me satisfied for a long time. So overall I feel like my eating is really great, I'm making good choices, I'm "controlling myself", I am just finding it hard to stop that completely unnecessary snacking habit. It's not all day and it's not every day (anymore) but we all have our bad days and weak moments.
I like the idea of just plain getting out of the house or a tedious activity like knitting.
When I had uncontrolled snacking, what made me suffer most is that I truely believed it was a problem of self discipline, I thought I lack willpower. But at the same time I felt the whole thing was really stronger than me. When I had those cravings, I couldn't think about anything else as if my brain was turned off. As you said, a robot.
When I have been told that was normal because I had this gut issue, I was so released. I was proposed a diet really close to PB and I gave it a try. It worked really well and that is why I follow PB now.
Go for a walk or try to do something around the house to keep your mind off eating. Sometimes it helps me to drink a glass of water and also keep a glass of ice water at hand to drink when I get the urge to snack. Usually it's really hard and it's just willpower that gets me through the first few days. My problem is evening snacking, but I find if I can go a few days without doing it it gets easier. From there it's just establishing a habit.
In a sense, snacking is "normal". Your body senses that there is calorie-dense food around, which of course might change at any time. Who knows, there might be a life-threatening famine coming up soon?
What is not normal is having ready-to-eat snack food available with no work required. If there was always cat food on the floor, all my cats would be little barrels.
I have in general the same issue... besides my hunger-break down around 3 in the afternoon I snack out of habit. It's a family thing.
I would say a solution is to start smoking... but I guess it's more healthy to snack.:-)
My serious advise is to find something to do with your hands... for women it's easy, start knitting, sowing etc... but for men it's a bit more difficult... I can't imagine a "cave-man" sitting down to knit... but maybe you can pick up a hobby to do with your hands... painting, drawing, wood works, sculpting, etc... something you can pick up quickly when you feel bored and the need to snack
i think fasting helped me kick cravings. a lot. ever since i started different fasting times, i've gotten a lot better at eating a few meals each day, healthy meals, and really enjoying them. at work, we have a bowl of candy in the lounge, people bring in donuts and pop and fast food for us, but i just haven't eaten any in a while due to fasting. i stop eating at 7 or 8 p.m. and actually eat starting at any where from 12-3 p.m. i think it comes down to mostly willpower and just telling yourself "no" when you see junk food. maybe you can try a fast of your choice on just one day out of the week and see if that helps. good luck
Eat enough nutrient-dense satiating food at your meals that you aren't hungry for snacks. If you're nutrient-replete, the cravings will lessen.
Otherwise, you might want to look into the whole food reward hypothesis and try eating blander foods for a little while. I'm sure somebody has a link to a good synopsis.
I agree whole-heartedly with this. I was going to say, eat more nutrient dense foods, they tend to keep you full far longer than food with less nutrition. I actually adore eating high protein (wild meats and fish) because I could honestly eat a burger at 8 am and not be hungry until 4 or 5 pm that same day - No snacking here!
The only way I can avoid snacking is either:
Being in an enviroment where it is impossible/too costly to snack.
Being immersed enough in what I'm doing to snack.
An example of the former is when I'm outside the house. I don't like buying snacks because I earning minimal money and would rather spend it on other things. The latter is if I get really immersed in a piece of entertainment like a video game or movie I won't snack. The opposite, when I'm sitting in the house bored, I find myself going to the fridge.