With these tips, cravings don’t stand a chance.
When you’re trying to medicate a bad day, a slice of oozy chocolate cake or bag of salty chips may seem like the only cure. Then, after you’ve overindulged, you’re left with a cloud of guilt hovering over you and a tinge of regret (don’t worry, it happens to everyone).
Whether they’re caused by stress, lack of sleep, or that time of the month, cravings will inevitably strike. The good news? With a strong line of defense you can fight back and avoid overindulging. Arm yourself with these tricks to kick those cravings for good.
Take a walk or shower. When a craving hits, distract yourself with an activity, like a stroll in nature or a hot shower. Simply changing your routine may help you shake off the urge to eat. Here are more health benefits of walking.
Chew gum. Enjoying a stick of sugar-free gum can distract you from the flavors you were previously craving and also keep your mouth busy. Keep a pack of sugar-free gum handy in your pocket or purse, so you’ll be locked and loaded when cravings strike.
Drink water. Feeling hungry? You may just be thirsty. Sometimes thirst can be masked as hunger, so sip some good ol’ H20 and then wait 20 minutes to see if you’re actually hungry.
Brush your teeth. You’re much less likely to snack if your mouth is clean and minty fresh. Give those cravings the cold shoulder: Keep a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste with you or pop a mint.
Get a good night’s rest. The best way to fight a craving is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Sleep deprivation can make junk food more desirable and harder for you to resist. Make sleep a priority each night, so you’re ready to fight cravings all day.
If you’ve tried all of these tricks and you’re still aching for a treat, go ahead and eat (but make sure it’s healthy)! You’re probably hungry.
Hunger and Thirst: Issues in measurement and prediction of eating and drinking. Lafayette, IN: Department of Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University, 2010. (Accessed on November 6, 2017 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2849909/)
Inadequate Hydration, BMI, and Obesity Among US Adults. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, 2016. (Accessed on November 6, 2017 at http://www.annfammed.org/content/14/4/320.full)
The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain. Berkeley, CA: University of California, Berkeley, 2014. (Accessed on November 6, 2017 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3763921/)