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Conquer Your Cravings: Tips And Tricks To keep Cravings And Unwanted Pounds At Bay

It’s there, sitting pretty on your kitchen counter, taunting you. You say no. You distract yourself with Facebook—someone posts a food pic. You say no again. Then after a day of stressful meetings, you drive home, and see That Billboard. Your cravings, in living color, against the night sky. That’s it. Where’s the nearest drive-through?

If hunger is physical, cravings are emotional. At that moment, the iced blended coffee with extra whipped cream and sprinkles on top isn’t just a drink, it’s happiness and a sanctuary from stress. Telling yourself that cravings are healthy is like trying to reason with a crying toddler.

Try these tactics: avoid, distract, and offer acceptable options. Then give yourself a hug.

 

EVADE

Avoid triggers. Every time you pass that pastry shop en route to work, you end up buying hot, buttery croissants. (We don’t blame you.) So take another route and you won’t know what you miss

Don’t skip meals. Cravings hit hardest when you’re hungry, so eat three meals and a snack (and eat on time!) so you don’t wolf down a whole bag of chips.

 

INDULGE (WITHIN REASON)

Satisfy your craving. If you really can’t resist that ice cream, go ahead and have one scoop. Denying yourself of what you’re craving for can intensify it and lead to bingeing and guilt later on, which can turn into a vicious cycle. Satisfying your craving (but not overdoing it) gives you a sense of comfort and pleasure, and will make you less likely to crave for something else.

Comfort yourself. Make a list of your favorite no-calorie simple pleasures. Food is not the only way to get comfort. Talk to a friend, get a massage, take a walk, or read a book.

 

DELAY AND DISTRACT

Wait it out. Should you have that extra serving of chocolate cake after a heavy lunch? Tell yourself, “I’ll have one later.” Most cravings will pass after 15 minutes

Pick a healthier alternative. Satisfy a craving for potato chips, with healthy crunchy foods like  popcorn,    roasted nuts, or celery dipped in yoghurt. Make wiser choices when trying to satisfy your cravings so that you still get your ‘fix’ with less calories. Need ice cream? Opt for frozen yogurt with fresh fruits instead.

 

GAVE IN? DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP

Stop the urge to give up completely. You’ve finally given in and took one piece of chocolate from the box in your desk drawer. Instead of thinking “I might as well eat everything in the box since I’ve had the chocolate anyway,” just brush it off and make healthier choices the next time.

Do some damage control. So you wolfed down two more slices of pizza than you would normally eat. No big deal—just make sure you choose healthier alternatives on your next meal.

Sweat it out. Work that bowl of ice cream out of your system. Lace up your trainers and go for a jog around your village, or pop in your favorite Zumba DVD and dance in the comfort of your living room.

 

Healthy options

5 examples of food that we usually crave for, and healthier alternatives you can eat instead

 

CHIPS

Go ahead and eat: Baked Chips

Healthier fix: Roasted nuts like almonds and walnuts, or trail mix

 

CHOCOLATES AND CANDY

Go ahead and eat: Dark chocolate

Healthier fix: Fruits or lower calorie versions of sweets available at the grocery

 

FANCY COFFEE OR MILK TEA

Go ahead and drink: Skinny versions of your favorite drink (opt for low fat or soy milk over whole milk!)

Even healthier fix: Espresso

 

SODA OR BEER

Go ahead and drink: Sparkling water with fresh fruit juice

Healthier fix: Red or white wine

 

COOKIES

Go ahead and eat: Oatmeal cookies

Healthier fix: Make your own desserts—tweak your recipe to a healthier one!

 

 

This article was first published in Working Mom magazine  March 2014 issue