We all battle with that little inner voice from time to time. You know… That liar inside our heads that tries to convince us that it actually IS possible to eat just one Lays Potato Chip.That little voice inside my head is not so little at times. I loathe that noisy b*tch! I battle that inner temptress on a daily basis!
There are tricks, however, to quiet that demon voice BEFORE you admit defeat and eat the entire quart of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice-cream.
HERE ARE 10 WAYS TO CURB YOUR CRAVINGS:
1. Drink a large glass of water before you do anything.
Often times we mistake dehydration for hunger. Just make it your knee-jerk reaction to reach for the water before you reach for the Snickers bar.
2. If you are craving something sweet, eat a pear first.
Any piece of sweet (not tart) fruit will do, but I like either pears or cantaloupe because they are super sweet and lack tartness. The fruit will give you the sweetness you are craving, but without giving you the sugar rush and calories of candy or soda. Furthermore, the fiber will actually fill you up and cause the sugar from the fruit to absorb more slowly into your blood stream.
3. Craving something salty? Squeeze half of a grapefruit into a full glass of water.
I have no idea why or how it works, but it works. In addition, grapefruits contain naringenin, an antioxidant which triggers the liver to break down fat. Research shows it may also help reduce the absorption of fat and sugar in the body. (Hooray!)
4. Eat Almonds.
If you have allowed your inner voice to win, and you “accidentally” find yourself with a mouthful (or stomach full) of Red Vines, eat a handful of raw almonds. Almonds help regulate your blood sugar level, which helps stop the sugar craving cycle. In addition, almonds fill you up, provide a healthy fat, and leave you feeling satisfied.
5. Give up artificial sweeteners.
That’s right. If you think drinking a Diet Coke is occasionally okay, think again. Artificial sweeteners trick our bodies into craving more sugar. It gets our tastebuds use to overly sweet tasting foods and beverages. If you gave up sugar and artificial sweeteners for 2 weeks, you would be amazed at how much sweeter an apple tastes.
6. Change the scenery.
Get up and go for a walk around the block. Chances are, when you return home, that craving you had before your walk won’t be as strong. And if they are… well, at least you’ve gotten your ass off the couch for a burst of exercise.
7. Chew on a piece of gum.
I always carry mint gum in my bag. It curbs my cravings, while providing me with the feeling of actually eating something. As I said in a previous blog, it’s difficult to think about eating potato chips with the taste of mint in your mouth.
8. Don’t skip the healthy snacks.
We should be eating every 3-4 hours. That means you should be eating a healthy snack between every meal. This will keep up your energy level and help you maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
I always have a small ziplock baggie filled with raw almonds, raw walnuts, and dried goji berries in my purse. The raw nuts are full of fiber, which keep me satisfied and the goji berries provide me with that little bit of sweetness I often crave after lunch.
9. Give into the craving, but with the lesser of two evils.
I said the LESSER of two evils. This does not mean eat an entire tube of Pringles. What it does mean is that if you are craving salt, instead of the potato chips, opt for a more nutrient, dense cheat food, such as lightly salted pistachio nuts.
If you are craving sweets, and the big glass of water and pear just didn’t seem to satisfy it, then by all means eat a few pieces of dark chocolate. Or better yet, opt for dark chocolate covered almonds. The fiber in the almonds will fill you up and help regulate your blood sugar level, while still allowing you to satisfy your sweet-tooth.
The more you completely deny yourself the tiny pleasures (I stress tiny), the more you set yourself up for binge eating.
10. Don’t beat yourself up if you fail.
So you’ve slipped and raided your kid’s Halloween bucket. It happens. The worst thing you could do is beat yourself up to the point where you say, “F#@K it!” …and then polish off the Oreos as well. Forgive yourself, and get back on track.