Are cravings sinking your weight loss goals? Do they stop you from shedding that last bit of stubborn fat? There’s no question: cravings can lead even the most dedicated healthy eater or fitness fanatic to make unhealthy choices. You can learn a better way! Use these 5 tips for fending off cravings so you look and feel better.
Fending off cravings can be a challenge. Sometimes we develop unnecessary snacking or overeating habits over a lifetime. Other times, we develop them in response to the stress of life transitions, whether that’s building a family or coping with loss.
You can change—and you can start today. Check out our tips to beat cravings. Bookmark them on your device or print them out to post on the fridge or pantry door. Every time you feel the urge to munch when it’s not a regular meal or snack time, look at the list to remind yourself. If you cave to a craving, don’t give up. Resolve to get right back on track—after all, you are so worth the effort.
Tip #1: Ask yourself: Am I stressed?
From grandma’s kitchen to college dorm rooms, many of us have been conditioned to seek out food during times of stress. Those extra calories add up, padding the waist, hips, thighs, and upper arms. When you want to beat food cravings triggered by stress, try these techniques instead of reaching for unhealthy foods:
- Sweat out cravings with our 5-Minute Fat-Burning Home Workout.
- Make healthy swaps for those trigger foods with 3 Ways to Fulfill Food Cravings.
- Indulge in regularly-scheduled me time: soak in the bath, read a book, or enjoy a quiet cup of tea.
Tip #2: Make sure you’re consuming enough calories.
That’s right – maybe you’re not eating enough to fuel your body! Most adult women should never consume fewer than 1,000 calories per day. When you don’t eat enough, the body goes into starvation mode, increasing hunger and conserving calories. Check out SkinnyMs. Meal Planning for the resources to help you plan delicious meals.
Tip #3: Get better (or more) shut-eye.
Sleep is a must-have when you want to control hunger. Why? Proper sleep regulates hormones that play a role in hunger and cravings. Learn 9 Tips to Get Better Sleep and try 3 Yoga Videos for Better Sleep.
Tip #4: Stop snacking on autopilot.
Are you reaching into that snack bag while watching TV every night? Do you always pick at the kids’ leftovers?
Humans are creatures of habit, and snacking is no exception. Eating regular snacks is actually an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. It helps maintain blood sugar levels and prevents overeating at meals. But too much snacking? Not so much.
- Crank out a few push-ups during TV commercials instead of snacking. Try 21 Push-Up Styles for Total Body Toning.
- Find something more productive to do with your hands rather than reaching for snacks. Learn how to crochet or knit; loose yourself in an adult coloring book; grab scrap paper and doodle.
Tip #5: Delay.
Cravings can feel pretty intense when they first strike, but after 15 or 20 minutes they’ll often go away – especially if you’re snacking out of habit or because you’re stressed. Here’s how to fend off cravings by forcing your body to wait.
- Brush your teeth. You’re less likely to dive into a snack if you’ve just brushed your mouth into a minty froth. Bonus: better dental check-ups.
- Plan the next few meals. Put your craving on hold by spending a few minutes planning meals that incorporate clean eating foods, which are minimally processed or whole. Get tasty meal ideas by visiting SkinnyMs. Slow Cooker Recipes.
- Drink a full glass of water. Fill your stomach to take the edge off a craving by drinking a full glass of clear, refreshing H2O.
- Paint your fingernails. By the time they’re dry enough to handle diving into a snack bowl, you’ll likely lose your cravings.
How do you fend off cravings? Let us know! Leave a comment below.