When I decide to lose weight (or just maintain the weight I’ve worked so hard to achieve), managing cravings is the first item on my “to do” list.
But what happens when those cravings are powerfully intense, bordering on addictive? (My cup of coffee in the morning qualifies in this category!)
Here are three simple tips to cope with those sometimes overwhelming cravings:
1. Manage your hunger proactively by eating several small meals throughout the day. When hunger reaches a dangerously high level, our basic survival instinct can easily overpower our good intentions. Under the influence of intense hunger, the decision to consume any available food—whether it’s healthful or fattening—will dominate. Keep your hunger in check by eating at regular intervals throughout the day.
2. Include protein in your mini—meals. Even a small amount, such as a tablespoon or two of nonfat cottage cheese, will stave off hunger a few hours longer.
3. Eat what you are craving but in reasonable amounts. From past experience, most of us know that diets create a sense of deprivation, which in turn triggers an impulse to indulge in forbidden foods. Figure out what you really want. Eat a modest portion, staying conscious and enjoying every bite.
If you’d like to learn more about the psychology of cravings and the danger of dieting, click here. Arming yourself with knowledge can help you win the battle of the bulge.