9 Ways to Zap Food Cravings

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Are you looking at that bag of chips like it’s Christian Grey? Do you swear that piece of leftover birthday cake is just calling your name? Food cravings happen to all of us, but if we’re not careful they can wreck our healthy lifestyle. Here are 9 ways to nip cravings in the bud:

Wait 5 minutes. Hunger often comes in waves; we feel the hunger, it builds, and then it disappears. When the intensity has ramped up to the point where you absolutely must eat that food, promise yourself that you’ll wait 5 minutes before eating. If the hungries are still there when the time is up, reach for a good-for-you food, like one of these 20 Healthy Snacks to Have on Hand.

Distract yourself. This strategy works hand-in-hand with waiting it out. Instead of sitting around obsessing over how hungry you are, find something else to keep the brain or body busy. Dive into a work project or call a friend. You can even take an exercise break with the 4 Minute Belly Fat Blaster.

Ask the core question. Are you genuinely hungry? The fact is that we often eat mindlessly when we’re bored, frustrated, or upset. Stress is a notorious overeating culprit as well. High-fat, high-sugar foods can lessen the effects of stress hormones, making us feel temporarily better. If your craving is coming from an emotion, find a healthier outlet, such as getting exercise or talking with a friend.

Sleep more. Cutting back on shut-eye drops levels of hormones related to appetite and fullness. Sleep between 7.5 to 9 hours a night for fewer cravings.

Beware of the bans. We probably all know a girl who fell madly in love with a guy her parents told her to stay away from. Banning a favorite food from your diet in a quest to lose weight can have the same effect on the brain. Rather than imposing a rigid personal rule that’s made for breaking (I’ll never eat ice cream again), make it a sometimes treat you enjoy in controlled portions—so go ahead and share an ice cream bowl with a friend once in a while.

Stay away from food you crave. When you want to lose pounds and inches, keep cravings in check by avoiding dens of temptation. Instead of meeting colleagues at the corner bakery, for example, meet them at the park.  Be sure to check out 11 Good Carbs that Help You Lose Weight.

Boot the bad guys. If potato chips are whispering to you from the pantry, it’s time to do some house cleaning. Don’t keep unhealthy snacks you crave in the house.

Eat a healthy breakfast. Taking time to eat breakfast gets the metabolism moving, helping to reduce feelings of hunger throughout the day. Dive into this yummy Honey Nut Breakfast Cereal.

Get moving. Like proper sleep, vigorous exercise allows for the proper release of hormones related to appetite and fullness, according to researchers [1]. Suppress your appetite naturally with a challenging workout, like the Inferno 4 Minute Burn or the Summer Butt Challenge.

Yes, you’ll have cravings for unhealthy foods, but you can use these strategies to help you make the choices you know are right. You can do this.

Resources

[1] Science Daily

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