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Controlling the types of food you eat and how much you eat can be tough! You know what you should eat, but some of the triggers are very strong. Sometimes, it's just the smell the gets in your nose and then in your head, like the smell of popcorn. Sometimes, it's triggered by the lack of some important nutrient in your diet, like maybe too little of an important vitamin or too little carbs. Sometimes, it's an emotional trigger, which is one of the toughest ones to battle. Don't give up the fight! Food cravings happen, but you control them, they don't control you.
Here are some of the ways I use to get past a craving, like thinking way too intensely about wanting a bag of Oreos or just wanting to eat too much:
1) Chew sugarless gum. It has become habit for me to chew a piece of gum right after lunch til my next meal. Keeps my mouth busy.
2) Do work on home computer--email, website. This works well to distract my mind from thinking about the craving. When I'm trying to write to people about eating healthy, I don't feel quite right doing it while eating a bag of chips!
3) Cook up some of my meals in advance. It's weird, but taking an hour or two to prepare some chicken breasts or some healthy soup gets my mind off it many times. Now I have my portions ready and don't have the excuse that there's nothing to eat.
4) Read my muscle magazines or other books with info that I'm interested in. They motivate me.
5) Play a game with the kids. They about fall out of their chairs when I suggest we play a game instead of them asking me.
6) Have a cup of herbal tea or sugar-free hot chocolate or Crystal Light. The warm drinks really seem to help me relax and remain peaceful. The Crystal Light sometimes helps satisify a craving for something sweet. Try freezing them as ice pops too.
7) Take a nap. This isn't always an option, but the weekends are hardest for me because I'm not on a set schedule. If the option is there, just laying down for a quick 20 minute nap does the trick. Sometimes, fatigue promotes sugar cravings; my body needs energy and switches on the 'sugar' signal.
8) Take a walk or workout. Get that adrenaline pumping and then eat something healthy afterward. It can clear the mind and give you energy.
9) Eat some fibrous veggies. Over the years, I've gotten into the habit of eating my meals at certain times and don't normally feel the need to snack in between--probably because I eat every 3 hours! But if a strong craving hits, if I can just keep my mouth busy, I get over it.
10) Write it out. Writing what I'm feeling or what my goals are or making to-do lists gets my mind off it. Gets me going on other things I should and want to be doing.
11) Do long-overdue tasks around the house. I have to admit I don't use this one often to ward off a food craving, but it has been known to work and the satisfaction when getting things done is great!
Find that arsenal of new habits to combat sugar and other 'not-so-healthy' food cravings! I'm sure there are many others that work well. What are yours?