Are constant cravings for food getting in the way of your healthy diet goals? If managing cravings was easy, everyone would be doing it. But it’s not. In fact when you work to face down cravings, you’re up against powerful instincts that date back to caveman times.
The fact of the matter is, a vast majority of us have defaulted to quick, simple solutions that are often of the pre-packaged or junk food variety. We do it because we’re busy, because we’ve grown up eating that way, or because it’s cost effective.
Many times we’ll even start a healthy, whole food diet with all the determination in the world, but decide to give up after a craving or two seems to sabotage the whole thing.
Cravings setbacks are normal, and even the healthiest of people indulge every once in a while. The key is figuring out how to control your cravings over the long run, so that those occasional indulgences can happen in a mindful, measured way.
Here is a reminder of the top four things to try every time you feel a craving coming on:
1) Ignore or Interrupt Cravings For 15 Minutes
According to Dr. Sara Gottfried, author of the NY Times bestselling The Hormone Cure, most cravings only last about 15 minutes. Once you feel a craving coming on, set a timer, maybe grab a glass of water or seltzer, and try to distract yourself by going online, posting a picture on social media, or even watching some TV. Chances are the intense need for chocolate or chips will simply disappear.
2) Stay Away From Foods That Trigger You
The more you eat super processed foods, the more you’re going to want them. So it’s not just about avoiding candy, it’s about avoiding things like white bread and pastas that have no nutritional value.
3) Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Most people tend to crave more foods the later they stay up, so do yourself a favor and go to bed early. Adequate sleep has also been linked to a healthier metabolism and a stronger sense of self control, so really, it’s one of the best things you can do for your overall weight loss journey!
4) Train & Repeat
The only way to get better at something is to do it over and over again, so following the same methodology every time you feel a craving coming on will strengthen your resistance. Use an App like CraveMate every time you start to feel that little voice inside your head, and you’ll find that after a few weeks, you follow your plan without even thinking.
Don’t let one small diet mistake derail all the hard work you put in; follow these simple rules to beat your cravings, and if they ever do win, jump right back on the horse and start over. Perseverance will get you there!