You want it. You want it crunchy and salty. You want it sweet and rich. You want it comforting and calorie ridden. It’s a craving. It’s the desire that could derail your healthy eating or your diet. Here are 5 suggestions from experts to help you control those cravings.
1. Visualize. We’re not suggesting you mentally send yourself to a beach, a lounge and one of those drinks with an umbrella. A study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers showed that if you visualized eating – yes, eating – a snack, you eat less. They did it with M&Ms. One group was not asked to visualize anything. Another visualized eating 3 of the candies. The third group had to visualize the indulgence of eating 30 M&Ms. The result. The group that visualized the most ate the fewest.
2. Go to School. Remember how you looked forward to that little bag of crackers or pretzels for snack time at school. The key word here is little. Make yourself eat less by packaging your snack in a little bag – just like you took to school. Also, serve your dinner on a smaller plate. In both cases, the serving looks bigger and your eyes can fool your stomach.
3. Ask if You’re Hungry. You want a dish of ice cream. Now, ask yourself if you’d like an apple. If the answer is yes, you’re probably hungry and not just craving. Go ahead and have a snack and make it a healthy one.
4. Plan to Indulge. Allow yourself the off-limits snack – but only once a day at the most. Make it part of the plan. A cognitive behavior expert recommends that you indulge after dinner. Knowing that snack is “on the menu” will help you stick to your diet during the day. Keep reminding yourself you can have that snack tonight and tomorrow night and the next night. It will help you resist other cravings.
5. Have a Ready Alternative. Before you have a craving, plan. Know what you’ll do when it strikes. Maybe you take a walk or allow yourself to play a game on the smartphone. Or, you could do a quick exercise or just meditate. If you have a plan to get you through, you will be more able to resist the craving when it strikes.
Controlling cravings is part of sticking to a diet or maintaining your weight. These tricks truly help, but they don’t address an actual diet that will shed pounds. If you need to lose weight for your health or just to feel good about yourself, talk to a medical weight loss center. They can give you a personalized diet plan that will work for you – whether you need to lose 10, 20, 50 pounds or more. With prescription medicines and an expert staff to support you, you’ll lose weight under the supervision of a medical doctor who is a weight-loss specialist. Then, you can use these tricks to maintain the new you!