The fifteen minute rule
When a craving strikes, the first fifteen minutes are crucial. If you can make it a rule to wait at least fifteen minutes before you indulge in any craving, it can work wonders. Keep busy with an activity that occupies your mind and hands so you can’t reach for that tempting treat by finding something else to do – a chore you’ve been putting off, a newspaper article you must read, a trip that you wish to plan – occupy yourself with it till the craving passes.
Decode and decide
If you can decode your craving, it will help you make better dietary decisions. Lower blood sugar levels, dehydration and fatigue; all contribute to increased appetites. It is important for you to know, if you are really hungry for something or you are just making up for lack of sleep and liquid intake. Try flavored tea to quench sweet cravings or tomato juice if you’re yearning for salty.
Cravings can often stem from the lack of ‘taste hit’ that you are looking for. Whether sweet or salty, there are times when your body simply needs a taste bud tickler. At such times you can trade up for the gourmet versions of some intense dark chocolates, fiber-rich or nutrient-dense snacks like dried fruit that are longer-lasting than the fat-filled treats you tend to yearn for. This way you have tamed your appetite and sufficed your craving.
All said and done, there will be times when even the smartest of choices won’t suffice your craving. Low-fat cheese won’t always provide for your pizza fix and dried fruit can’t replace your desire for dessert. Ditching the diet and allowing yourself small portions of decadent foods is totally fine at times. You can scoop half a cup of ice cream as long as you know when to stop. That way, you can eat what you really want without putting on those extra kilos.