With the holidays quickly approaching and the weather creeping down, many of us find ourselves indoors more often surrounded by an abundance of foods. From those holiday cookies you made out of tradition, to candy you picked up your last grocery trip, we are constantly bombarded with temptation. It can sometimes feel like an impossible feat to say no, but test out these strategizes next time you find cravings hit.
GO FOR A WALK OR MOVE AT HOME
Did you know that movement, even 10 minutes, improves the odds that you'll be able to resist reaching for that treat. Whether its bundling up and strolling around the block to check out Christmas lights or blasting your favourite song to bust a move, removing yourself from the situation plus getting the activity can help you regulate food intake.
SIP ON A DRINK
Our body often struggles to distinguish between hunger & thirst, and desire food when we are dehydrated. A large glass of water can be enough to kick the craving to the curb. A glass of water infused with flavours such as mint, cucumber, basil, even pomegranate is refreshing and can satisfy a food urge without any calories. Fun flavoured carbonated water with bubbles to keep your mouth pre-occupied? Yes please.
PLAY A GAME ON YOUR PHONE OR READ A BOOK
Candy Crush might have an actual use. Visuals from games and books may have the ability to offset the visual image of the food that you crave. In other words: out of sight, out of mind.
DRINK GINGER OR MINT TEA
Ginger/ mint is a traditional palate cleanser that helps fight the lingering urge for something sweet, and it can help you fend off sugar cravings, too. Other flavoured teas and plain coffee work wonders too. Just limit caffeine within 6hrs of bedtime.
TAKE A BREAK
Get up and check on your partner or roommate working in the other room, wash the dishes, call a friend or your mom, take the garbage out. Getting a change of scenery and occupying yourself with a mindless task can test if the craving just comes from boredom. Many times we eat mindlessly when we are bored, but preoccupying ourselves can be the key to overcome this habit.
DO SOMETHING RELAXING
Since many times we turn to food as a coping mechanism for stress, taking a couple of minutes to stretch, meditate, pamper ourselves or just chill out may help you conquer the urge to stuff your face with whatever's in sight.
Some people who chewed sugar-free gum after meals decreased feelings of hunger and snack cravings. They also felt more energetic, trumping the fatigue that makes cravings harder to fight off.
LIE DOWN FOR A NAP
Lack of nighttime sleep is very commonly connected to a lower resistance to junk food cravings. Your craving might be fueled by fatigue, so getting quality sleep can counteract it.
SNACK ON PROTEIN AND FIBER
Foods with both nutrients are filling and energizing, and it takes a while for your body to digest them, so they stay in your system longer. Greek yogurt topped with hemp seed is a great combination with lots of protein and fiber and can wipe out cravings.
HAVE A SMALL AMOUNT OF WHAT YOU CRAVE—AND SOMETHING HEALTHY WITH IT
Allowing yourself a tiny taste of what you're craving—and crowding it out with something more nutritious—can leave you satisfied. It's important to keep the portion small, to eat slowly, really focus on the food, and maybe drink water alongside it.
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