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Five Steps for Fighting Food Cravings

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I used to think that if I exercised enough, I could continue eating whatever I wanted. Was I ever wrong! The American Council on Exercise notes that 89 percent of National Weight Control Registry members successfully lost weight with a combination of diet and exercise, while 10 percent did it with diet only and 1 percent did it with exercise only. Read more here:

Since diet is such an important part of the equation, here are some tips for fighting food cravings. It's alot more than just willpower!

1. Delay or distract - The average craving only lasts 3-5 minutes. Physically remove the item you are craving, so you can ignore it. Distract yourself by finding something else to do.

2. Destress. Since cravings are often triggered by stress, boredom, anger, and other emotions, find healthy alternatives for dealing with those emotions. Exercise has been shown to ease stress and release endorphins, so go for a walk, do some yoga, or drop and give us 10 (push-ups). Other ways to let out the stress are meditating, journaling, or even calling up a friend to vent. If you work at a desk job, get up every hour and do some quick exercises.

3. Eat. If you’re legitimately hungry and craving something sweet, skip the sweet stuff—no snacking on fruit. Instead, eat a meal or snack focused on protein and fat. These two macronutrients together pack a huge satiety punch, letting your brain know that your body is full, well-nourished, and happy.

4. Drink up. Thirst can easily masquerade as a craving—that feeling of, “I need something…” is often hard to pinpoint. The next time you have a food craving, drink a glass of water first. Then wait about fifteen minutes. If you're still hungry, it's probably legitimate, but this method is a great way to make sure you're not just dehydrated.

5. Take a nap. Food cravings and sleep deprivation go hand-in-hand. When you're sleep deprived, your body releases a hormone that makes you crave sugars and carbohydrates. If you think you might be reaching for food from sheer exhaustion, go to your room (or out to your car) and take a fifteen minute cat-nap.

To read the full article on fighting food cravings, check out this article:

I would love to hear about YOUR techniques for fighting food cravings!
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