Food cravings can strike at any time and can be especially potent when you’re on a diet and trying to lose weight. Whether it’s a pizza commercial on the television or it’s a coworker sitting across from you in the break room eating a giant cookie, it’s easy to become focused on how much you want to indulge in your favorite treat. But despite many potential food temptations, there are some tricks you can use to help you forget how much you want that unhealthy indulgence.
1. Drink Something
Lowering calorie intake is the first step many dieters take to lose weight and sometimes it’s easy to unintentionally lower fluid intake as well. Since a good portion of your daily hydration comes from the food you eat, consuming less food can make you doubly hungry since thirst can feel just as intense as hunger. Extreme thirst can mask itself as a craving or hunger.
It is often difficult to tell the difference between true hunger and thirst, but intense cravings can often be dealt with by drinking a glass of juice or an electrolyte filled sports drink. The liquid will not only fill your stomach and lessen your food craving, but it will also quench your thirst, which will reduce the overall potency of your craving.
2. Find Something Sweet (or Salty)
If you’re sitting in your living room enjoying your favorite television show, and a craving for a salty, greasy bag of potato chips suddenly invades your mind, defeat that craving by choosing another food that will offer you a less caloric, yet salty experience. Instead of tearing through half a bag of regular potato chips, keep a baked variety on hand. Pretzels and nuts are also fine substitutes for salty cravings.
If your craving is for something sweet, it’s easy to find sweet, low-calorie options to fight that urge to eat a piece of cake or a box of cookies. For example, instead of indulging in a piece of apple pie, try eating a sliced apple. Fresh fruit is a terrific and healthy substitution whenever a craving for something sweet hits.
3. Treat Yourself Occasionally
While keeping your diet healthy and filled with nutritious foods is important, it is okay to indulge in your favorite foods in moderation, even while trying to lose weight. Denying yourself completely the opportunity to eat your favorite food will make it extremely difficult to avoid breaking your diet.
It is okay to eat a slice of pizza every once in a while and it’s fine to have a few of your favorite cookies on occasion. You can keep your cravings in check by treating yourself in moderation.
4. Take a Walk
Sometimes it can be as easy as changing your locale to make you forget completely about those cookies hidden on the top shelf of the cupboard or that leftover cake in the refrigerator. While going to the gym is certainly an option to take your mind off a craving, something as simple as a walk around the block can also clear your mind and refresh your muscles.