Temptation is the biggest enemy of dieting, and it usually strikes in the form of foods that are terrible for weight loss, like gooey macaroni and cheese, sinfully rich chocolate cake or something else that sounds great now but will be paid for next week on the scale.
Unfortunately, cravings are a natural part of dieting and a natural part of our survival. People are hard-wired to crave food due to the biological need for nourishment. This would be fine if only people craved broccoli and green beans, but cravings for late-night pizza and double-scoop ice cream sundaes have a tendency to wreak havoc on weight loss goals.
The good news is that biology can be battled, at least in this case. Follow these tips to deal with your cravings next time they threaten to derail your diet.
People crave what they eat, which is why dieting is so difficult in the beginning. If you adjust your eating habits, you can replace your past cravings with new, healthier ones. Try it for a week. The first few days will be tough, but by the end you'll be reaching for carrots and celery instead of potato chips and candy.
Fulfill Your Appetite
Cravings are easier to resist when you aren't really hungry. To curb your appetite and the resulting cravings, down two tall glasses of water and eat a small handful of peanuts, almonds or walnuts. The combination should put a damper on your appetite until the craving disappears.
Take a Multivitamin
Some nutrition experts believe that cravings are actually the body's way of saying you need more of a particular nutrient. Taking a multivitamin each day can remedy any deficiencies you have and may reduce the number of cravings you experience.
Stop Emotional Eating
Many people feel strong cravings when they are feeling extra stressed or emotional. Instead of eating your feelings, find a healthier way to deal with them. Exercise is a great stress reliever that will also further your weight loss goals, and meditating for just a few minutes can do wonders for an overwhelmed mind.
Choose Healthier Alternatives
If you are craving a certain taste or texture, try to find a healthier alternative. For example, if you are craving sweets, reach for a fresh piece of fruit instead of chocolate or ice cream. If you want the crunch of chips, try a healthier alternative like veggie crisps or baked sweet potato slices. These options let you enjoy the flavor or texture you crave without the guilt.