Ever skip breakfast and get so hungry by 11am, the open package of Oreos on the counter is calling you much more than the bag of baby carrots you brought? We’ve all been there, feeling drawn to the fat and sugar instead of the healthy snack. The desire to satisfy an intense craving can feel uncontrollable, but as strong as the craving is, you can overcome it.
When willpower isn’t enough, these tips from nutritionists and dietitians can help fight cravings and cut down on mindless overeating:
- Understand cravings - Giving in to a craving doesn’t mean you’re weak, it means you’re human. Nutritionist Dena Gershkovich explains that when we haven’t eaten in a while, our bodies crave foods that are high in fat and sugar because fat is the most efficient source of energy and sugar is quickly absorbed by the body.
- The best way to avoid cravings - Is to eat regularly throughout the day to make sure you don’t get too hungry.
- Don’t restrict or deny- Cravings get stronger when you try to fight them and telling yourself the food you want is “bad” can actually increase cravings for it, according to dietitian Melissa Mitri.
- Try the delay technique - Instead of giving in to a craving right away, tell yourself it’s okay to wait for it and it may lose its appeal over time.
- Ease cravings with a cup of tea- “Tea helps comfort and calm a hungry stomach while also hydrating the body so it feels full,” explains nutritionist Christina Towle.
- Breathe deeply- Before you tear open that bag of Doritos, take a few deep breaths. Mitri says this works because it helps you slow down and relax, giving you time to evaluate the situation.
- Distract yourself when the craving hits - When all you want to do is dig into the pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, sidetrack yourself by doing something physical for a little while. Julie Mancusosuggests walking the dog, hitting the yoga mat, or listening to music, anything that takes your mind off the food because cravings only last a few minutes.
Source:Eat This, Not That
Photo: Getty Images