Nutrition

14 simple ways to curb your food cravings

Author: Canadian Living

Nutrition

14 simple ways to curb your food cravings

No matter how good the intentions, it can be difficult to curb cravings for junk food and unhealthy drinks. Some of these natural approaches may help. When you do give in, forgive yourself: if you are eating a diet based around fruit and vegetables and drinking lots of water, the occasional lapse is no cause for concern.

7 ways to curb your food cravings
1. Keep a food diary

If some foods you crave don't leave you feeling too good, you may have an intolerance to them. Before visiting a doctor or nutritionist, keep a record of everything you eat or drink and your reactions to them for at least three days. Some foods are well-known for causing reactions, so pay attention if symptoms such as bloating, headaches, fatigue or mood swings follow when you eat or drink dairy foods, wheat, citrus fruit, tomatoes, eggs, sugar or caffeine.

2. Change your habits
To banish something from your diet, ban it from the house. You can't eat what isn't there. Enlist your family in your campaign to cut back on cookies or crisps by removing those foods from family meals and snack times. Go to the supermarket without the kids to avoid pester power. Take things slowly if it helps, banishing problem foods from your home, but not entirely from your life -- yet -- by eating them only at friends' homes or in restaurants.

3. Switch chocolate treats
If chocolate is your destressing treat, switch from milk chocolate to cocoa-rich dark versions (look for those with 70 per cent or more cocoa solids). You'll find you need to eat less to feel the positive effects.

4. Enlist help
Urge friends to text you uplifting messages randomly during the day. They might just arrive as you are opening the fridge. Ask girlfriends to turn up not with a tempting cake, but with some exotic fruit or flowers instead. If they don't take the hint, invent a convenient allergy -- wheat bloats you, sugar brings you out in hives…

5. Shop sated
Visit the supermarket on a full stomach, and take a list; both strategies help counter impulse-buying and stop you reaching for less healthy options with eye appeal, such as greasy pastries and fat-laden savoury snacks. Shopping online from a saved list also helps you hold out against bad impulse buys.

6. Get herbal help
Herbalists recommend taking the herb kudzu to help eliminate food cravings. In a 2005 study it seemed to repress the urge to binge-drink. Ingredients in the herb are known to lower blood pressure; the herb may also increase blood flow to the brain. It contains oestrogen-like isoflavones, which may be helpful in menopause. Consult an herbalist, a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine or take 30 to 120 mg two or three times a day.

7. Find a feel-good alternative
Try a quick breathing exercise when willpower wanes. Close your eyes and cut out thoughts and external pressure by watching your breath move in and out. When your breathing pattern feels calmer, imagine exhaling toxins and negative thoughts with every out breath. On each in-breath imagine your body being energized by cleansing oxygen that brings with it a new lease of life.

Page 1 of 2 - find seven more tips for curbing your cravings on page 2


Excerpted from 1001 Ways to Stay Young Naturally, copyright 2007 by Susannah Marriott. Excerpted with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.

 

7 more ways to curb your food cravings
8.
Use an aromatherapy fix
Place two drops of essential oil of grapefruit on a handkerchief. Inhale when you need a deterrent at the sweet counter. The Institute of Aromatherapy in Toronto suggests this curbs cravings for sweet treats.

9. Set short-term goals
Take things one day at a time, focusing on getting through the next 24 hours -- if this seems overwhelming, then the next hour -- without succumbing to temptation. Whenever worries about tomorrow or next month come to mind, bat them away and return to thinking about today.

10. Remember that treats matter
Reward yourself with a small treat for being good, such as a new lipstick or book, a plant for the garden or extra minutes in bed, but to keep momentum going, build up to a big pat on the back, maybe a shoe-shopping session, or a visit to a day spa.

11. Stay away from temptation
Remove easy temptation from your daily routine. Change your route to work if you can't pass the corner shop without buying chips. If you usually binge on cocktails at a girlfriend's house, invite her out to a movie instead.

12. Go for healthy pick-me-ups
Try one or more of the following healthy treats, which not only taste great and are something of a foodie treat, but contain valuable amounts of nutrients and health-enriching plant substances: heritage variety of apple (some taste like champagne), a handful of collagen-rich cherries, fresh or dried figs loaded with minerals including calcium, antioxidant red guava.

13. Practise visualization
When reaching for that snack bar, imagine your arteries furring up, your skin becoming more sallow and fleshy, your brain finding it harder to make connections. Then picture a shower of tropical rain pounding down on your scalp, washing away these pictures. Sense a feeling of cleanness and vibrancy inside and out.

14. Repeat affirmations
Repeating motivational words or phrases helps reset your default. Persevere even if it makes you feel silly. Find a word or phrase that instils self-confidence and a sense of purpose, such as, “I am in control”, “I want to stay young”, “I love food that's good for my body”. Repeat it on waking and go to sleep with it echoing in your head.

Read about the 5 kitchen tools that will help you lose weight.

Page 2 of 2



Excerpted from 1001 Ways to Stay Young Naturally, copyright 2007 by Susannah Marriott. Excerpted with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.

 

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14 simple ways to curb your food cravings

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