Gotta Have It! Control Your Food Cravings
Have you ever noticed how depriving yourself of a food suddenly makes it irresistible? It’s like that piece of chocolate cake starts calling your name and draws you in! When you think about, it’s scary that certain foods can have such power over our minds and cause us to go to great lengths to get that food as fast as possible!
Food cravings are complex, and unfortunately we seem to crave high-sugar or high-fat foods. If only I could figure out how to make people crave broccoli or spinach.
Despite your strongest willpower, food cravings usually result in overindulging in the food and then feeling guilty afterward. Food cravings are a normal part of life, and it’s unrealistic to expect anyone to overcome all cravings. The goal is reducing the cravings and having a plan in place for when those cravings hit.
Craving Control Tips:
- Follow the 10-minute rule. Wait 10 minutes before satisfying the craving. Distract yourself with exercise, a phone call, anything, and chances are, the craving will pass.
- Satisfy the craving with a very small portion of what you are craving. If you know that you can’t limit yourself to a small portion, go back to #1 and wait out the craving.
- Eat at regular times throughout the day. Skipping meals or going for more than 4 or 5 hours without a snack or meal is a perfect recipe for food cravings or overeating in general. Regular meals and snacks, say every 3-4 hours, keep you from getting too hungry and give you more control over food choices (see the “Are You Actually Hungry?” post).
- Keep a food journal. Besides making you more aware of what you are eating, a food journal can help you identify triggers for your food cravings. Do you crave food while watching television? Does stress cause food cravings? Write down not only foods and beverages, but also any emotions you are feeling or what you were doing just before eating.
- Out of sight, out of mind. If you have regular foods you crave (for me it’s chocolate), try to keep it out of your kitchen, desk drawer, car, anywhere you are tempted. You’re less likely to give into the craving if it’s not easy to access the food. If you do happen to give in, try to purchase only a single serving of the food. If all else fails and you purchase that box of cookies or carton of ice cream, have a serving and immediately throw out the rest so you can’t go back for seconds.
Important Walmart Disclaimer: All content, including but not limited to, recipe and health information provided in Healthy Living, is for educational purposes only. Such content is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the diagnosis, treatment and advice of a medical professional. Such content does not cover all possible side effects of any new or different health program. Consult your medical professional for guidance before changing or undertaking a new diet or exercise program. Advance consultation with your physician is particularly important if you are under eighteen (18) years old, pregnant, nursing, or have health problems.