Cravings are a nightmare. Whether you are dieting or just trying to eat healthier, if you are denying your body something, it will certainly let you know that it wants it! Just one temptation too much, though, and you could unravel your diet completely. Uh! Well, there is a new strategy which is designed to conquer any craving, and I’ve been testing it...
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One of the worst things about cravings is not knowing if you are actually hungry, or if it’s thirst or boredom or something completely different. Well, that’s the thinking behind this step. Waiting it out means that if it’s not a real hunger, and will just pass, you won’t fall for it! Have a look at the time, and see if you are still hungry in half an hour, or if the feeling has completely passed. You’ll probably be surprised!
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Make a list of things you can do to distract you from the craving. Reading a book, doing an exercise video, madly dancing to a music channel, walking the dog. Something you can do on impulse, that will take your mind off the food and keep you doing something else. Buy an extra magazine and keep it for when cravings hit, give yourself a manicure...the options are endless.
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If you are still hungry after the time has gone and you’ve tried to distract yourself and you just can’t, think about substitutions. If you are craving ice cream, for example, try eating frozen yoghurt. It’s about the same, so should satisfy the craving, but it’s much better for you. You can do this with lots of things...just make sure you’ve got some healthy substitutes available for when the hunger strikes!
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Hunger is often caused by emotions such as frustration and stress, so try doing something that will relax you. I always find a luxurious soak in the bath and a face mask does the trick, but my best friend swears by foot spas...find something that works for you. Completely relax and calm down, and see if your craving disappears with all of that anger.
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Try having a drink, and letting your body readjust. Hunger is often confused for thirst, as thirst is a very different craving...it’s easy to ignore until you start to get dehydrated, while hunger is much harder to ignore. So grab some water, and rehydrate yourself. You’d be surprised how much this works for me!
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Okay, so most of the time this one is probably a little impractical, but try it a few times when you can and you should be able to tell if it applies to you. Tiredness and fatigue can be expressed as hunger, as your body is craving the hormones released when you eat. Which is why after a late night, you always seem to be starving! Take a nap, and see how you feel when you wake up. Calorie free, and a great solution in my experience!
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If after all of this your pesky craving hasn’t gone away, consider giving in. Don’t pig out, though....simply allow yourself some of what you want, without going overboard. You’ll feel much better for it, and you deserve it after trying so hard anyway! Don’t let yourself feel deprived, as that can lead to bingeing...give in occasionally, you won’t suffer for it.
I’ve been trying these, and I love them! The whole scheme works fantastically for me, and I’m learning to tell the difference between the ‘hungers’ too, so it takes a lot less time. It’s great for making sure you are actually hungry before you give in to temptation! Give it a try and see how it goes for you. Have you got a tip for handling cravings? I’d love to hear it!
Top Photo Credit: kylie lambert (Le Cupcake)
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