10 Tips to Beat Cravings

Reviewed: June 05, 2013
By eHealthIQ
10 Tips to Beat Cravings

Whether you want to shed some extra pounds or just adopt a healthier diet, you’re bound to experience cravings when altering your diet. Therefore, it’s important to utilize any possible method to distract yourself from them. Here are some ways to help you beat cravings.

1. Healthy Alternatives

When you feel the urge to snack on something tasty, it can be tremendously helpful to have a healthy alternative available. Dried fruit and nut bars, applesauce, fresh fruit and all-fruit sorbets are some recommended options.

2. Household Ban

If you have a hard time controlling cravings, consider instating a household ban on junk food. If it’s not around, you’re less likely to give in to your urges.

3. Exercise

Whenever you feel an overwhelming desire to indulge, go for a walk or hop on the treadmill. Exercising helps reinforce healthy habits and makes you feel more resistant toward impulsive behaviors. It also causes your brain to release endorphins, nature’s feel-good drugs.

4. Channel It

Channeling destructive urges, like eating junk, into a healthy or productive activity is called “sublimation” by behavioral scientists. Whenever cravings strike, go do something else that you enjoy. Paint, read a good book, play a game or cook a healthy meal. This helps you forget about the craving and associates the desire with something truly positive.

5. Special Occasions

You don’t have to completely swear off junk food for life. However, it’s best to limit your indulgences to special occasions only. This way, you don’t feel left out or completely deprived.

6. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is considered helpful for a variety of things, not the least of which is appetite control. If your cravings are more than you can bear, consider trying this method.

7. Aromatherapy

It’s been said that just smelling the food you’re craving can quell your desire to eat it. Such information seems dubious at best, but it can’t hurt to try. Alternatively, rosemary, lemon, grapefruit and peppermint aromas actually have shown promise in helping people resist cravings.

8. Caffeine

Caffeine is a natural appetite suppressant. Try replacing your unhealthy snacks with a cup of tea or coffee. Avoid the soda, however.

9. Withdrawal Period

Sugar has been likened to an addictive drug, and some people even think that it should be reclassified as one. There is some truth to this. The first weeks after giving it up are the hardest, causing symptoms such as irritability, cravings, binging and desperate attempts to get more. If you can hold out that long, it will be much easier to avoid the urge the rest of the time.

10. Laugh

This healthy indulgence makes your brain produce ample quantities of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that make you feel happy and satisfied. Best of all, it contains no calories and is beneficial for health.

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