Killer food cravings seem to come at the worst time when you’re trying to stick to a diet. Although they’re totally normal, food cravings for sweets and fatty foods are frustrating to deal with and can make you feel like giving up. So how do you keep them at bay, make better choices, and successfully say no to your favorite unhealthy snacks?
Keep temptation from turning into a diet-ruining binge by following these strategies.
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- Stick to set times for meals and snacks
Spread your meals out evenly throughout the day to keep your energy levels balanced. Try to stick to the same daily routine of mealtimes so your body’s never wondering when it’ll eat next, which can lead to cravings.
Keeping a food journal is a great way to stay on top of this
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- Choose low GI foods
Low GI (or Glycemic Index), foods are ones that release their energy slowly, so they won’t give you that deadly afternoon sugar crash which leads you to raid the kitchen.
- Make sure you always have healthy snacks on hand
Stock up on healthy snacks so sure you’re never stuck when cravings strike.
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- Purge your pantry
While your motivation is high, throw out or give away all of the unhealthy snacks you normally crave at home.
- Make some new recipes
If you have a sweet tooth, find some healthy snack recipes that don’t make you feel deprived, and use them to treat yourself instead. Challenge yourself to try and recreate healthier versions of your favorites and make them when cravings hit instead.
- Try some relaxation exercises
If you’re most likely to get junk food cravings when you’re stressed, instead of grabbing a cookie, learn some relaxation techniques or start meditating to help you chill out instead.
- Get enough sleep
You’re more likely to overeat and more likely to crave unhealthy food when you’re tired so make sure you regularly get a good night’s rest.
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- Distract yourself
If you’re stuck in a moment of temptation, walk away as soon as you recognize it, and do something else to give yourself space to cool off. Very hot showers are said to calm cravings, but it can be as simple as going for a walk or calling a friend to catch up.
- Try some new places to eat
If it’s hard not to order your favorite unhealthy treat when you visit a restaurant with friends, use the experience to try some new places where you can order something healthier. Alternatively, skip eating out altogether for a while and dine in at home.
- Shout about your diet plans
Well-meaning friends and family can sometimes be the downfall of your efforts to eat nourishing, healthy foods – particularly around the holidays or big events. – But if you share your weight loss goals with them, you’re more likely to stick with them yourself, and they’ll be more likely to help you avoid your trigger foods.