I hate to break the news, but cravings are a fact of life! Until you start craving celery the same way you crave chocolate chip cheesecake, you’re going to have to learn to live with your frustrating food urges. Here’s how to curb your cravings – without feeling deprived. We found these tips in Self Magazine.
- Turn your urges into rewards. Studies show that any small bite of something sweet triggers your brain to flood your body with mood boosting chemicals – like serotonin and dopamine. That’s why people who are depressed feel more prone to mindless snacking! You can limit your junk food urges by saving them for a specified “snack time” – like 4pm, or after dinner. That way, your body will learn to crave sweets as a reward for waiting. rather than as a cure for a blue mood!
- Another way to kill your cravings is to: Wait it out. Dr. Susan Roberts, a professor of nutrition at Tufts University, says that most food cravings go away within 15 minutes. So, if you can distract yourself by listening to music, or reading a book, you’ll feel less inclined to snack.
- If that doesn’t work: Pop a peppermint. Researchers at Wheeling Jesuit University, in West Virginia, found that most cravings happen in the late afternoon or early evening – when blood sugar levels are lower. So, eating a peppermint can bring your blood sugar back to normal. Plus, studies show that people who sniffed peppermint throughout the day ate about 400 calories LESS than people who didn’t. Over the course of a week, that adds up to a whole pound!
- Here’s a final trick to beat your cravings: Use the power of subliminal persuasion! An Australian study found that, although it seems as if French fries can dominate your thoughts for days, your brain can easily be distracted – because it can only devote so much space to focusing on food. In other words, any new image can bump the urge to eat right out of your head. Researchers say the distraction should be visual in order to be effective. So, log on to Google images and type your favorite city or sport into the search field. Once you start flipping through photos of bright Venetian sunsets, your mind will drift far away from the vending machine.