Conquer Cravings: Losing Some Battles Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Win the War. Some tips to control overeating:
You’re in the mood for a cookie:
- Without a trace of angst, you eat an Oreo. Craving satisfied. No further action required.
- You have an Oreo. Then another. Then two more. In 6 trips to the kitchen, you’ve eaten one whole row…
What’s the difference between those who can eat one and those who finish a whole bag of chips on the way to the mailbox?
In studies using MRI technologies, scientists had test subjects imagine their favorite foods. Their thoughts of chips, chocolate, and French fries lit up some of the same brain regions as do addictive drugs.
While these findings are interesting, they don’t provide a solution. One side is advocates giving in to cravings in moderation, the other believes it’s better to eliminate the foods that cause us to go overboard.
Both sides are right. It depends on the individual. Some people can eat one and others can’t stop at 10. If having temptation in the house presents a definite diet hazard, here are some tips to help get the Chunky Monkey off your back.
- Drink water. Dehydration confuses the body and can make it feel hungry. The thirst reflex declines with age and puts us more at risk for dehydration, especially in cold weather. Calculate How Much Water Should You Drink.
- Distract yourself. If you’re not truly hungry, put off the urge for 15-20 minutes. Call a friend or check your email: often that’s enough time for the craving to dissipate.
- Tap your forehead. Meridian tapping has been used by health care professionals to treat anxiety, phobias, and other common problems. The theory is that tapping acupressure points on the face and upper body can help ‘delete’ cravings.
- Take a fast walk. If your cravings aren’t physical, you’ll feel better almost instantly. If they are you’ll probably feel weak because you need to eat.
- Smell mint. In a Wheeling Jesuit University study, people who sniffed peppermint periodically throughout the day ate fewer calories per week. Mint also improved athletic performance in the study. Order a mint inhaler at SportsInhaler.com.
- Never be hungry. Eating 3 well planned meals and 2 snacks a day is a proven way to keep cravings in control. It keeps blood sugar levels steady. One common reason for cravings is a drop in such levels.