Battling Food Cravings

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Healthy eatingTemptation is the biggest enemy of dieting, and it usually
strikes in the form of foods that are terrible for weight loss, like gooey
macaroni and cheese, sinfully rich chocolate cake or something else that sounds
great now but will be paid for next week on the scale.

Unfortunately, cravings are a natural part of dieting and a
natural part of our survival. People are hard-wired to crave food due to the
biological need for nourishment. This would be fine if only people craved
broccoli and green beans, but cravings for late-night pizza and double-scoop
ice cream sundaes have a tendency to wreak havoc on weight
loss goals
.

The good news is that biology can be battled, at least in
this case. Follow these tips to deal with your cravings next time they threaten
to derail your diet.

Avoid Triggers

People crave what they eat, which is why dieting is so
difficult in the beginning. If you adjust your eating habits, you can replace
your past cravings with new, healthier ones. Try it for a week. The first few
days will be tough, but by the end you’ll be reaching for carrots and celery
instead of potato chips and candy.

Fulfill Your Appetite

Cravings are easier to resist when you aren’t really hungry.
To curb your appetite and the resulting cravings, down two tall glasses of
water and eat a small handful of peanuts, almonds or walnuts. The combination
should put a damper on your appetite until the craving disappears.

Take a Multivitamin

Some nutrition experts believe that cravings are actually
the body’s way of saying you need more of a particular nutrient. Taking a
multivitamin each day
can remedy any deficiencies you have and may reduce
the number of cravings you experience.

Stop Emotional Eating

Many people feel strong cravings when they are feeling extra
stressed or emotional. Instead of eating your feelings, find a healthier way to
deal with them. Exercise is a great stress reliever that will also further your
weight loss goals, and meditating for just a few minutes can do wonders for an
overwhelmed mind.

Choose Healthier Alternatives

If you are craving a certain taste or texture, try to find a
healthier alternative. For example, if you are craving sweets, reach for a
fresh piece of fruit instead of chocolate or ice cream. If you want the crunch
of chips, try a healthier alternative like veggie crisps or baked sweet potato
slices. These options let you enjoy the flavor or texture you crave without the
guilt.?