Food cravings can happen to anyone, anyplace, anytime. Particularly for everyone on a diet, food cravings are a real challenge for your willpower. They’re one of the biggest reasons why people have problems losing weight and keeping it off. You can exercise all you want without seeing any results if you can’t keep your fingers from reaching into the cookie jar, bag of chips, or pizza box. But it’s so hard to stay resilient when new temptations for everything that’s anything but healthy wait for you around every corner. Fortunately, there are 5 extremely useful tips and tricks to help you resist a calorific snack or meal:
1. Drink Water
Your mind can play tricks on you. Sometimes, hunger or food cravings are just confused with being thirsty. If you feel a sudden urge for a specific food, try drinking a large glass of water and wait a few minutes. You may find that the craving fades away, because your body was just thirsty.
2. Get Your Mind Off It
Food cravings caused by boredom, anxiety, or other emotions call for springing into action. When you feel a craving coming on, try to distance yourself from it. For example, take a brisk walk or a shower. Call a friend, go window shopping, listen to music or read a book – anything that will shift your mind to something else. A change in thought and environment may help to maintain self-control.
3. Plan Your Meals
If possible, try to plan your meals for the day or upcoming week (consider meal prepping). By knowing when and what you’re going to eat, you eliminate the factor of spontaneity and uncertainty. If you don’t have to think about what to eat at the upcoming meal, you will be less tempted to make compulsive, impulsive, and unhealthy choices/decisions and less likely to experience cravings.
4. Avoid Getting Extremely Hungry
Hunger is one of the biggest reasons why we experience cravings. To avoid getting extremely hungry, make sure to eat regularly and have healthy snacks close at hand. Be prepared to avoid long periods of hunger. Especially important is to never ever go grocery shopping when you’re hungry! They feed everybody’s cravings. First of all, they give easy access to pretty much any food you could think of. Second of all, supermarkets usually place the unhealthiest food at eye level. To avoid impulsive buying, only go to the store when you’ve recently eaten and you’ve prepared a shopping list.
5. Avoid Stress or Fatigue
Your appetite is largely affected by hormones that fluctuate throughout the day. Stress and sleep deprivation disrupt your body’s hormonal balance and may lead to poor appetite regulation and strong cravings. Try to minimize stress in your environment by planning ahead, meditating and generally slowing down. Also make sure to get a good night’s sleep.