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4 Strategies to Cope With a Food Craving

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Sticking with a diet starts with having a plan that maps out meals and snacks based on foods that help you feel full longer. After all, if you feel satisfied, you'll be less likely to rummage through your kitchen cabinets looking for treats.

But sometimes cravings can get the better of you. You might be tempted by the whiff of a bakery as you walk to work, want something sweet to cheer you up when you're down, or just reach for food because you're bored. The answer is to create a strategy for dealing with a craving as soon as you feel one coming on.

Pick a time when you're not hungry (perhaps right after a meal) to plan how you'll cope with a craving. Write down actions that you can take that fit with your lifestyle. This way, you'll enjoy the alternative course of action rather than feeling like you're punishing yourself. Your "best" action might be doing a crossword, picking up a crochet project or turning on dance music.

What if you feel a craving this very second? Here are four things you can do right now:

  • Phone a friend. Sometimes calling in reinforcements can keep you on track or simply divert your attention from food. Try to find nonfood topics of conversation, and chat until the craving passes.
  • Drink a tall glass of water. Being thirsty can feel like hunger. The American Council on Exercise suggests drinking one ounce of water for every two pounds of bodyweight over the course of each day.
  • Take a focused breathing break. Use the next three minutes to center yourself -- this is especially helpful if stress is the trigger for the craving. Close your eyes and picture a nonfood item or activity that makes you happy.
  • Consider a power nap. Sometimes you're sleepy rather than hungry, and that can be a set-up for impulse eating. Chances are you'll wake feeling refreshed rather than ravenous. Follow the nap with exercise rather than a snack.

More information

The American Council on Exercise has more tips to help you stay on track with weight loss and see results.

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=744825

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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