Imagine if satisfying your food cravings was actually part of a healthy diet. Impossible, you say? Not at all. You just need to be savvy about when and how you indulge.
1. Devise a Plan
Cravings often strike with some predictability. Perhaps you pine for ice cream while watching bad reality TV. Maybe at the moment your anxiety over a big work project intensifies, so does your hankering for an even bigger bag of Doritos.
Being aware of the circumstances that make you vulnerable to food cravings allows you to equip yourself with coping strategies well in advance. For example, stow a pair of fitness shoes under your desk in order to ease workplace stress with a brisk walk around the block rather than a trip to the snack machine.
2. Control Your Portions
When you have control over your food portions, you have control over your cravings. Appease urges as they arise with individual-sized portions. Think one cookie instead of half a dozen.
3. Savour What You Crave
As tempting as it may be to scarf down a slice of much-anticipated rhubarb-strawberry pie, taking it slow enhances enjoyment and helps you eat less. Savour the flavour, whether you’re eating a small treat or a healthy meal.
4. Abolish the All-Or-Nothing Approach
You might think that if you’ve given in to a craving, say, at lunchtime, you’ve blown your entire diet for the rest of the day—and you might as well skip your evening cycling class while you’re at it. But eating right is by no means an all-or-nothing deal! Simply get back on your diet plan as soon as possible.
5. Eat Consistently
Missing meals or severely cutting calories as punishment for giving in to cravings makes it more likely that you’ll succumb to future urges—and possibly bingeing—as your body tries to restore much-needed energy. So eat consistent, small meals throughout the day.
6. Understand Your Urges
Cravings, especially in the late afternoon when you’re more likely to feel drained, often signal that you need an energy-boost. In this situation, your first instinct may be to grab a sugary snack. But that’s not the best choice. Stay energized and satiated instead with a snack such as almond butter on celery or a slice of whole-grain bread.
7. Cultivate Healthy Cravings
It’s a fact that people who consistently feast on healthful foods do crave them, sometimes even more than junk food. Chances are, your cravings will become more health-driven as you consume more nutritious foods. But remember, an avocado will never become the object of your desires if you don’t enjoy it. Select health-conscious foods that you also find tasty.