We all have them – food cravings. Some of us more than others, but we all loathe them just the same. Cravings can be exceptionally difficult to manage, but luckily not all hope is lost. There are quite a few things you can do to suppress or even stop them altogether. Here are my personal top 8…
1. Stop them at the source: While your body is actually craving certain nutrients, your mind often tells you you’re craving unhealthy snacks or desserts instead. Your mind just sucks like that…but you can trick it by eating the types of foods that contain the nutrients your body is lacking. Here is a list of what your body really wants instead of chocolate, bread etc, and how you can satisfy its needs.
2. Avoid trigger foods: You crave what you eat, so in order to weaken naughty cravings, you have to strengthen healthier ones by eating better. It’s all about habit again, just like everything else in life. The first few days will be the hardest, and you won’t be able to completely eliminate naughty cravings, but the longer you manage to avoid your personal trigger foods – be it chocolate or crisps – the less you’ll be craving them in the future.
3. Eliminate all temptation: this is almost as easy as it sounds. Just don’t buy your trigger foods next time you go to the supermarket. It is much easier to say no in the supermarket than it is at home. And if there’s still that big chocolate bar from last week floating around, either give it away immediately or destroy it…and I mean ruin it in a way that makes it inedible.
4. Drink a lot of water and eat a handful of walnuts, almonds or peanuts to dampen your appetite and eliminate your craving.
5. Get distracted: When you’re having a really bad craving, your mind is obviously occupied with whatever food you’re craving. So just occupy your mind with something else. Read a good book, listen to your favourite music, meet a friend, go shopping, exercise…the list is endless. Do whatever you enjoy most, and your mind will be satisfied.
6. Indulge – within reason: It is obviously ok to indulge once in a while. But instead of buying the huge family pack of crisps, go for one small bag, so you won’t be tempted to reach for another. And if you’re currently on a mission to lose weight, strike a bargain with your indulging self to work off those extra calories.
7. Relax: When we’re stressed, most of us reach for comfort foods, to make us feel better. As a quick fix, reach for some nuts, fruit or veggies instead of the cupcake next time. However in the long run, you may want to get your stress under control by meditating, exercising or autogenic training.
8. Avoid passing by your favourite bakery, pizzeria or sweet shop. It will be easier to resist from a distance than from the other side of the inviting widow.
For the lowdown on how food cravings work, have a look at this article. It’s a bit wordy, but incredibly interesting and informative for everyone, who is interested in the science behind food cravings.
Did I miss anything? How do you control your food cravings?