We all know the feeling. It can happen in the middle of a busy day, or at the end of the night when we are trying to unwind. It is the dreaded craving. The sudden overwhelming urge to go and buy that bag of chips or to grab the pint of ice cream from the freezer. So, what can we do to help fight these cravings and keep up from derailing our diets?
It has been proven that stopping and taking a few deep breaths can help to curb a craving. This is especially true if you are feeling stressed or anxious and your first instinct is to find something to eat. Instead of running to the vending machine, stop, and take 3-5 deep breaths. Breathe in slowly and let the breath fill your chest and move all the way down to your stomach. Also, see if you can make your out breath last even longer than your in breath.
Instead of reaching for an unhealthy snack, do something else. Get up and take a walk, call a friend, or dance around your living room. Quite often, if you can stop focusing on the craving, you will find that it passes.
Often when we feel hungry, it is actually because we are dehydrated. Keep water on hand at all times and make a habit of drinking it. The key here is to make sure that your drink of choice is a healthy one. Water, tea, or make yourself a club soda with fresh lemon and lime.
Give yourself alternatives
If you are craving chips, and you happen to have a bag of chips in your cupboard, it is a lot more difficult to resist temptation. Instead, try having healthy alternatives on hand. Craving something sweet? Grab some fresh fruit or a square of dark chocolate. Craving something salty? Have a small handful of pistachios or some veggie chips. This allows you to give in to your craving without feeling guilty afterward.All of these tips should help to keep you on track and help you to make healthy choices. However, if you do give into a craving every now and then, don’t beat yourself up about it.