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Control Your Food Cravings With Three Easy Tips

Train Your Brain to Control Cravings (3 Simple Tricks!)

We are pumped to share our fave story from Self here on FitSugar!

One common work-week diet trap: the 3-o'clock munchies. You know the feeling. Before you know it, you're standing before the vending machine, with the voice in your head saying "I want, I want, I want!" Here's how to silence those thoughts without feeling deprived. Ready to take control over your cravings? Follow these three simple tricks:

  • Do indulge (in moderation): Denying yourself of the very treats you love is only going to make you want them more — and if you cut them out completely you may find yourself binging on them within a week's time. Better to keep yourself in check by practicing moderation. Love chocolate? Eat two small squares daily rather than the entire bar. Is it crunch you crave? Trade in fatty potato crisps for a healthy chip alternative.
  • Try positive self-talk: Be gentle with yourself. So you ate a few cookies, so what! It's OK. Stay calm. You will not (I repeat): You will not blow up like a balloon. Rather than beat yourself up for allowing yourself a small indulgence, tell yourself "A few cookies is not an entire box. I deserve to satisfy my sweet tooth and I have. I don't need to eat any more cookies (today)." Being mindful of your inner dialogue will do wonders for your self-esteem and your waistline.
  • Breathe before you bite: When that explosive wave of "I want (insert cookies, cake, chips, dip, etc. here)" hits, step away from the fridge. Make a commitment to yourself to wait it out at least 10 minutes. Focus on your breathing and what you are feeling. Are you sad, angry, or tired? If so, try improving your mood without food — call a friend, blast a song you love, take a walk or write in a journal. Chances are your yen for treats will pass. If you're truly hungry and feel your belly rumbling after those 10 minutes, eat — but try to choose a healthy snack.

Find five more ways to train your brain to shut out (and up!) those pesky cravings inside your head.
Need more food for thought? Read these stories at Self.com:

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sourcherry sourcherry 6 years
I "promise" myself that I'll have a treat I will really love later on. Like, I rather have a really decadent desert at a bakery or restaurant that I'll visit on the weekend than have some chocolate or cookies every day of the week. I save those calories for the really good stuff :)
amber512 amber512 6 years
I always eat a snack about 3 or 4. Eating every three-four hours really helps me!
Spectra Spectra 6 years
I've been eating healthy food so long that I rarely crave unhealthy foods any more. Sometimes, I do get the odd craving for something junky, but I usually just tell myself that it'll pass. In the meantime, I drink some water or chew a piece of gum and distract myself with something else.
guavajelly guavajelly 6 years
Great Post! Over the last few days I've begun to understand that its actually a bad thing to beat yourseld up over food. Permanent weight loss seems to be achieved with having peace with food and commiting to health & happiness. How is beating yourself up and creating a state of angst suppose to motivate you to eat healthy? http://fullbodytransformation.wordpress.com/
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