When Cravings Attack

Cravings attack

By Lizzie Meyers

It strikes when you least expect it: You’re sitting at your desk, feeling satisfied from lunch. Yet, suddenly, out of nowhere, the chocolate cake sitting in the fridge pops into your mind. Once the craving takes over, often there’s no turning back.

Unfortunately, the holiday season makes mouth-watering treats all too accessible. Before falling victim to leftover Thanksgiving pie or mom’s homemade peppermint bark, put these crave-curbing tips to use.

1. Drink Water

  • If you’re craving something salty, this may be your body’s way of telling you that it’s dehydrated. Hold off on the potato chips and go for a big glass of water instead. Chances are, the hydration and the full feeling obtained from the water itself will curb your cravings for the time being.

2. Distract Yourself

  • Ever notice how cravings often occur when you aren’t doing anything particularly riveting? Too often, we eat out of boredom. It’s a mindless habit that can pack on some serious pounds when not kept in check. Next time you find yourself reaching for a snack as you watch TV or catch up on emails, switch directions for a moment. Get up and take a walk, or call a friend, or do five minutes of stretching. Focusing momentarily on something else can help you forget those unwarranted cravings.

3. Indulge without indulging

  • Most cravings can be satisfied with much healthier options than the high-cal, fatty foods that people tend to reach for most. See below for some better alternatives.

If you’re craving this: Try eating this:

Chocolate – Chocolate! But skip the milk and white. In moderation, dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa) is a low-calorie, heart-healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Potato Chips – Kale chips or taro chips are a much healthier substitute for a bag of Lays. A small handful of lightly salted nuts may also do the trick, and will lend a dose of protein, too.

Sugar – Rather than indulging in products packed with refined sugars, opt for the most natural sugar fix of all: fruit. Eat alone or add your favorite variety to non-fat yogurt for a satisfying and filling snack.

Keep these simple guidelines in your back pocket the next time a leftover pumpkin pie sneak attacks your mind. If these tricks fail to satiate, this could mean that you are truly hungry. In that case, opt for a snack containing protein and fiber to eliminate your hankerings and keep it on the small side.

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