Tailor your chemistry to work with this appetite chemistry: 1. Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day that contain some high-quality carbs and some protein; this will keep NPY and serotonin levels in the normal range. Skipping breakfast only escalates NPY levels and increases cravings later in the morning.
2. Avoid fatty meals and snacks midday -- they may give galanin an extra boost and set you up for more fat cravings at night.
3. Take it slow. Gradually make dietary changes to allow time for the crave-control chemicals to adapt.
4. Plan your cravings. Allowing small servings of your favorite food may help you avoid the binge eating associated with abstinence.
5. Cut back on sugar, caffeine and refined grains. These quick-fix energy boosts only undermine your weight-loss efforts and fuel cravings in the long run.
6. If habit, not chemicals, is at the root of a craving, find more nutritious, low-calorie foods or develop a new habit that provides the same pleasurable or rewarding effect: take a brisk walk, paint your nails or take a hot bath instead of eating.
7. Exercise. People who are physically active are less prone to bingeing and cravings. They also maintain a more constant weight as compared to couch potatoes. Exercise is also a healthy way to get a pleasurable endorphin rush and reduce stress.