Food cravings really suck
Especially when you’re trying to lose weight, control diabetes or other chronic illnesses, or keep those New Year’s resolutions. Sugary foods can cause cavities. So what do you do when you find yourself backed into a corner by thoughts of jumbo chocolate chip cookies or bags of FunYuns? Try these tips:
1. Distract Yourself
- Move — go for a walk, do some stretches, splash water on your face, step outside for some fresh air
- Chew Gum — moderation here; we avoid sugar-free gum because of the artificial sweeteners, and limit use of regular gum because of the sugar
- Drink a nice, tall glass of water
- Meditate — clear your mind of everything (hopefully the craving will go along with the rest!)
- Pour all of your concentration into a challenging task — leaving no brain space for that craving!
2. Find a Healthier Substitute
- Salty foods — try nuts or seeds instead (portion them out to control your fat intake)
- Sweets — replace with a small portion of dried fruit, or a serving of fresh fruit
- Fat — have a healthy fat instead; nuts or avocado fit the bill nicely
3. Put It Off
- Ask yourself to wait 10 minutes
- If your craving persists, make a choice — satisfy it with something small, or challenge yourself to another 10 minutes (chances are, your craving will go away if you postpone it)
- Next time you have a craving, try starting off with a 20-minute wait
4. Buy Small
- Never keep large bags of tempting snacks around
- If a craving strikes, buy a single-serving size snack to satisfy it
5. Go Homemade
- If you’re craving sweets, it’s much better to make a treat at home than to buy packaged cookies or other desserts.
One last tip: if you find yourself craving foods often, try keeping a craving journal. Record the date, time, what you are craving, and the circumstances (at work, after an argument, bored, etc). This will help you to spot trends and learn to head cravings off at the pass.
PS…for more about taming food cravings, check out episode 072 of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, “Don’t Let Food Cravings Hold You Hostage”.