by Dana Eldridge
(Naples, Florida, USA)
New diets are often difficult to begin because they cut out a lot of the yummy junk foods, like sugary sweets and fatty fried foods. After just a day or two of eating healthy foods, you might have cravings for chocolate, potato chips, and soda.
Controlling food cravings when you are on a strict diet can be difficult, but there are a few tricks that you should learn so that your days are easier, at least when it comes to food.
First, shop and cook wisely. If there are certain things that you know you are likely to crave, keep them out of your house altogether.
When you’re shopping, resist the urge to buy these unhealthy foods and instead purchase healthy and delicious snacks like fresh fruit and granola bars. Try to match up your new snack foods with what you would normally crave.
For example, if you love eating potato chips, try a healthier alternative, such as popcorn. Also, use the foods you buy to cook in a better way.
Many recipes using fresh vegetables and lean meat can be very tasty when prepared in certain ways. Learn to crave these healthy things instead of fatty foods like pizza.
Cravings also come from not only wanting unhealthy food, but also wanting more food. To prevent this, be sure that you are consuming correct portion sizes at every meal.
Don’t skip meals or starve yourself to loose weight—you’ll be more likely to binge eat if you do that. Binge eating is harmful to your body and will actually cause you to put on even more weight or can lead to illnesses such as bulimia.
If you find that your cravings are unbearable, try to include your favorite foods in healthy ways. For example, if you feel like you simply cannot live without chocolate, try buying a healthy snack like trail mix and adding a few chocolate chips to the batch.
You can also look for the healthiest alternatives to your favorites and keep them in your house to be consumed in small amounts. Often one or two chips will give you the power to put the rest of them away for another day.
Lastly, join a group like Weight Watchers, or diet with a friend so that you can keep one another motivated. Keep a log of your progress and use your success in order to stop your cravings.
A member of your dieting group or a dieting partner is a great person to call when you are craving unhealthy foods. Distraction is key.
You can also take a walk to get out of the house or drink some water to keep your mind off of the foods you crave. Cravings might be tough, but they don’t have to ruin your diet.