How to Control Your Cravings

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1. Avoid tempting foods

Expert Marcia Pelchat says that “You crave what you eat, so if you switch what you’re eating, you can weaken your old cravings and strengthen new ones” which basically means that, if you had previous cravings for unhealthy foods such as pizza , burgers and sweets, when you switch to new healthier alternatives, it will be hard at first but in the end, you will end up having cravings for these healthier foods instead. Start the process gradually to make it easier and make sure that you don’t go back to your previous unhealthy patterns.

2. Get rid of any potential triggers

If you still have unhealthy foods in your kitchen cabinet that make you feel guilty every time you eat them, get rid of them in every possible way (and we don’t mean you just throw them away) – do some form of ritual to make yourself feel proud that you have got rid of them. As Carolian Apovian (MD and Director of Nutrition and Weigh management Center) states, “Don’t just throw it away; run water over it, ruin it. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment that you’ve licked your binge.” You may think that you are wasting your money but trust us, you will get more reward in the end.

3. Drink water and eat nuts

According to expert Michael Froizen, drinking two glasses of water and a handful of nuts (it could be 6 walnuts, 12 almonds, or 20 peanuts), in just 20 minutes you feel fuller and your appetite and cravings will decrease – which of course means you eat less and lose more weight.

4. Drink some coffee

Instead of eating a high calorie snack such as crisps or chocolate, go for coffee (sugar and dairy free is the lowest calorie option, but skim latte is also good). The caffeine inside of course won’t make you full, but it can temporarily suppress your cravings and keep you distracted.

5. Relax

We all know that stress has a detrimental effect on your eating habits – emotional eating while you are stressed will make you consume more calories than you should normally consume, and you will end up feeling worse after. If you find it hard to relax, look for relaxation aids such as music and you will find you gradually manage to control the situation.

6. Have a sleep

When you feel tired, take a short nap so you avoid the temptation to eat something fatty. Choose a quiet place where you can sleep undisturbed and take a nap to re-load your batteries.

7. Brush your teeth more often

Brushing your teeth is a great way to keep you from giving in to your cravings and according to expert Molly Gee, “When you have a fresh, clean mouth, you don’t want to mess it up,”. There is certainly some truth in this.

8. Keep yourself distracted

When you crave a certain unhealthy food like a fatty cheeseburger it’s just your head playing games with you, it’s not because you are hungry. As John Foreyt, PhD, of Baylor College of Medicine states, “Cravings typically last ten minutes,” so instead of giving in within those 10 minutes look for some healthier distractions like meditation, listening to your favourite music tracks, call someone, run an errand or work out.

9. Don’t starve yourself

Whatever you do, don’t starve yourself. This just puts your body in ‘Starvation Mode’ which as a result, slows your metabolic rate down. Your body thinks, “I better burn less energy as I don’t know when my next meal will be!”

10. Plan in advance or resist the temptation

If you are going to go for that chocolate cake you have been craving for for days, arrange your diet plan and calorie intake accordingly so that you will end up consuming the same calories e.g. by lessening the portions of other foods you are going to eat.