If you’ve ever been on a diet before, you’ve probably experienced food cravings every now and then. A food craving is a strong desire for certain foods, usually the type that are often restricted when dieting, like foods high in sugar and carbs. Succumbing to cravings while on a diet is a big part of why people have issues losing weight and keeping the weight off. Next time you feel the urge coming on, keep in mind these simple ways to prevent cravings.
1. Distance Yourself
When you feel a craving coming on, the last thing you want to do is dwell or act on it. A change in thought or in environment may be the solution to stop the craving. For example, try taking a walk, playing a game, watching your favorite TV show, or even taking a shower to shift your mind onto something else rather than cravings.
2. Plan Meals Ahead
If possible, try to plan your meals 3-4 days in advance, that way you already know what you’re going to eat, and you eliminate the factor of uncertainty. “If you don’t have to think about what to eat at the following meal, you will be less tempted and less likely to experience cravings,” says Health Line.
3. Avoid Hunger
Nutritionist Adda Bjarnadottir, says letting ourselves get extremely hungry is one of the main reasons why cravings happen. A good idea to prevent long periods of hunger is to eat regularly and always pack healthy snacks with you. By being prepared you may be able to prevent cravings from showing up at all.
4. Visualize It
Research shows, that when we visualize our goals, we begin to “see” the possibility of accomplishing them, which helps us be prepared and motivated to pursue them. Put together a collage filled with photos that represent your future goals, that way when a craving hits, look at the collage and then ask yourself if indulging in this craving will help bring you closer to your goals.
5. Drink More Water
According to everyday HEALTh, “dehydration can cause people to crave salty foods.” So if you’re feeling the need to grab a bag of chips, try drinking a glass of water instead. After a few minutes, you may find that the cravings faded away. Since thirst is often confused with hunger always go for a glass of water first before reaching for food. You may discover that your body was actually just thirsty.