Food Cravings

Don't let them take over your weight-loss plan

The worst enemy of any diet is a craving. It sneaks up on you and attacks when you least expect it, causing you to slip up and potentially ruin your weight-loss plan. Cravings are difficult to resist, especially in the early stages of your diet and can keep you from reaching your goals if you continually give in to them.

The best way to fight your cravings is by using willpower. However, let's face it, not many of us have that much self control. Luckily there are other ways to fend off those urges. It is also important to remember that it is only human nature to give in once and awhile, so don't feel too badly if you do.

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Don't skip meals – If you're hungry you're more likely to crave foods, particularly those that are bad for you. The key is to eat regularly. It may be helpful to consume several small meals throughout the day. The most important meal you can eat is breakfast. Eating early in the day can help with weight loss by providing you with energy and staving off hunger pangs throughout the morning. Eat foods that contain fiber because they will keep you feeling full longer. Oatmeal, whole wheat toast, fruit and yogurt are all great choices.

Keep busy – If you are preoccupied or active throughout the day, you will not be thinking about food as much. If you feel a craving coming on go do something to take your mind off of it. Exercise is a great distraction and a benefit to your weight loss plan. Getting involved in a hobby is another way to keep busy and keep your mind active at the same time. Find something you're interested in and go for it, whether it means joining a sports team, taking yoga or learning to paint.

Stay hydrated – The first hunger pangs are actually a sign of thirst, so drink as much water as possible. Drinking plenty of water is good for you health, keeps you alert and will help stave off hunger between meals.

Remove temptation – Don't tempt yourself by keeping cookies, chips and ice cream in your house or in your desk at work. These foods will do little for your weight loss plan. Moreover, you won't be as likely to give in to your cravings if these foods are not readily available.

Don't deprive yourself – It's impossible to deny your cravings all the time. If you do you'll be more likely to break away from you diet and end up binging. The key is moderation. Instead of having several cookies eat just one. Munch on a handful of potato chips instead of the whole bag, or better yet opt for baked chips. If it's chocolate you're after have a couple of pieces of dark chocolate or a couple of chocolate covered almonds.