I’m certainly no stranger to the occasional urge to dive into a bag of my favorite chips, rip open a chocolate bar, or go through the drive-thru window. I’ll bet you’re no stranger to binges either.
Occasional indulgences aren’t anything to be overly alarmed about. However, if you find yourself licking the remnants of these treats off your fingers too often, you’ll need to practice some ways to get in charge of those cravings.
You want to be in charge of your cravings and not have them be in charge of you, right?
Here are eight smart ways to handle these cravings and get back in the saddle for your healthy routine.
8 Smart Solutions To Control Cravings
Get to the root of your food cravings
The next time a craving strikes, take note of when it happens. Are you bored? Is it that time of the month? Did you have a terrible day at work? These things can all be a trigger for your cravings.
Be mindful of these triggers once you identify them. The next time you find yourself wanting a treat, stop and evaluate your surroundings. Pay attention to what may be triggering this craving.
Plan on restraining yourself 80% of the time. Then enjoy the things you crave the remaining 20% of the time. When you eat healthy the majority of the time, you will lower your cravings drastically.
Eat more frequently
While it may sound counterintuitive, if you eat more often you can keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel. Try packing a healthy snack to enjoy mid-morning and another one to have mid-afternoon. Doing this may help you feel fuller longer and less likely to head to the office vending machine.
Take your time when you eat
One of the best ways to keep from overeating is to practice mindful eating. It’s true whether you’re splurging or eating a nutritious meal. It can sometimes take your brain up to 20 minutes to get the message that your stomach is full.
At your next meal, slow down and take your time when you chew your food. Savor the flavors of what’s on your plate, and you’ll find you won’t need to eat your entire portion.
Related Post: How Food Can Affect More Than Your Weight
Sometimes when we think we’re hungry, we’re in fact thirsty. The next time you’re struck with an urge to snack, try drinking a glass of water first. After a few minutes, you may find you no longer need something to munch on.
In general, you should aim to drink at least half your bodyweight in ounces of water. It helps to keep a bottle of water with you at all times and sip it throughout the day.
It can be a lot harder to maintain a healthy weight when you don’t sleep well. That’s because poor sleep can throw your hormones off balance so that even when you’re technically full, you’re more likely to overeat.
To find out if sleep is an issue for you when it comes to controlling cravings and what you can do if it is, read How To Get Better Sleep To Avoid Weight Gain.
Do something else
Cravings don’t last forever. If you distract yourself, eventually you’ll forget about your craving altogether.
Find something else to do — go for a walk, read a book, message your friends. Involve yourself with anything else you can think of, and before you know it, you’ll have forgotten about that nagging craving.
Try a quick workout. It can leave you energized and you may find you no longer need to reach for that snack anymore.
To find quick workouts you can do from anywhere no matter what your fitness level is, all in 30 minutes or less, give the workouts in the 8 Week Workout Plan a try. For even more quick energizers, try these Workouts.
If you find you really can’t help munching while watching a movie or TV, swap out unhealthy options for healthier ones. Choose celery sticks or crispy carrots with hummus or a small serving of mixed nuts.
Want something sweet, cool, and refreshing? Try frozen melon balls for an ice cream-like experience without the guilt.
Related Post: The Best Way To Eat Whole Foods To Make You Feel Full
Keep your temptations out of the house
You know what they say — “out of sight, out of mind.” It’s so true when it comes to the foods you crave. Do your best to keep these things out of your home as much as possible.
When you get late-night cravings, you’ll be less likely to go out of your way to get them because they’re no longer around!
You know what they say — ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ It’s so true when it comes to the foods you crave. Do your best to keep these things out of your home as much as possible.
BONUS Solution – Get support
If all else fails, I turn to friends for support. People who I know can relate, empathize, understand and tell me to man up and put that treat down.
Try joining a Facebook Group where they talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly – like when it’s 10:00 pm and all you want to do is eat ice cream. Inside the group you will get support, advice and a safe place to talk with others about shared goals.
Arm Yourself With These Solutions
Cravings will come and go, but when you have solutions in your arsenal, you’ll be in charge of your cravings, rather than you being controlled by them.
So, let’s get honest here. My biggest craving I get is salty chips. I notice it happens when I’m stressed, like when I have a deadline coming or when I have too much on my plate.
To combat those cravings, I utilize two solutions – “Get to the root of your cravings” and “Do something else.” When I’m mindful of the times I’m craving chips because of stress, I try to do things to de-stress such as deep breathing, stretching techniques or a quick workout.
What about you?
What craving nags you the most? Which of these solutions will you use to control those cravings? Comment below and let me know.