No matter how dedicated you are to your weight loss plan, we all have our weak moments. When cravings strike, they can derail your entire program! Use these six tricks to fight your urges for comfort foods, and stay on track toward your weight loss goals.
Walk it off. If that ice cream in the freezer is calling your name, walk away! Put on your running shoes and go for a short walk. Often we crave sugary treats because of a dip in our mood, and exercise is proven to fight depression. Plus, once you fit in a few minutes of exercise, you might not want to undo that progress by snacking.
Sit in the sun. If you’re not up for exercise, at least head outdoors for some sunlight. Sunlight also helps to boost your energy and mood.
Brush your teeth. If you’ve already eaten dinner, brush your teeth. This sends your brain an unconscious signal that you’re finished eating for the day.
Wait for 20 minutes. Saying no to yourself can be difficult, but can you go without that craving food for 20 minutes? Of course you can. It might be easier to say “not now” instead of “no”. After the 20 minutes has passed, many people realize that their craving has subsided anyway.
Get adequate sleep. When we’re sleep deprived, our bodies produce hormones that trigger cravings for comfort foods. Make sure you’re getting eight hours of quality sleep each night. Invest in earplugs, a good mattress, room darkening shades, or anything else you need. Your health is important; these are not just unnecessary comfort items if they help you get the rest you need.
Identify your feelings. For some people, cravings are a symptom of emotions. When a craving for a fattening food strikes, ask yourself, “what am I feeling right now?” Often you will find that your cravings aren’t rooted simply in hunger, but in loneliness, boredom, depression, or stress. Once you have re-labeled the feeling, take the appropriate steps to combat it rather than medicating it with food.
Choose an acceptable substitute. If you’re craving ice cream, try low-fat yogurt with fruit. For salty cravings, try a pickle. If it’s fatty comfort foods that you love, substitute an avocado. If you’re a texture lover, try a healthier version of the texture that you crave.
Cravings happen to all of us. It’s those who learn to beat the game who succeed in their weight loss plans!