Wednesday, June 28, 2006 

10 Ways to Control Your Cravings


( Taken from an article in Reader's Digest!)

You can lose weight by overcoming your cravings. Here are the latest tricks of the trade from the researchers and experts.

Avoid your Triggers! "You crave what you eat, so if you switch what you're eating, you can weaken your old craving and strenghten your new ones, " says Marcia Pelchar, PhD of the Monell Center. This can happen pretty fast. For 5 days , her study volunteers drank bland dietary-supplement beverages. During that time, they craved fewer of their trigger foods. By the end of the study, the volunteers actally wanted the supplements instead. The first few days are always the hardest and probably can't completely eliminate your old cravings. But the longer you avoid your trigger foods, the less likely you will be to want them. In fact, you'll probably begin to crave the foods you eat, a real bonus if you've switched to fresh fruit.

Destroy Temptaion!
If you succumbed to a craving and bought a box of cookies or some other trigger food and start to feel bad while eating it, destroy it. "Don't just throw it away: run water over it, ruin it. You'll feel a sense of accomplishment that you've licked your binge. Don't think about the money you're wasting. If the cookies don't go in the garbage, they're going straight to your hips!

Go Nuts! Drink two glasses of water and eat an ounce of nuts ( 6 walnuts, 12 almonds, or 20 peanuts). Within 20 minutes this can extinguish your craving and dampen your appetite by changing your body chemistry.

Jolt yourself with java. Try sippping a skim latte instead of reaching for a candy bar. The caffeine it contains won't necessarily satisfy your cravings, but it can save you the calories by quenching your appetite. The warm richness and ritual can distract you also.

Let it go. Since stress is a huge trigger for cravings, leaning to deal with it could possibly save you hundreds of calories a day. This will take some practice. You can try deep breathing or visualizing a serene scene on your own, or you can speed things up by buying one of the many CD's that teach progressive muscle relaxation.

Take a power nap. Cravings sneak up when we're tired. Focus on the fatique: Shut the door, close your eyes, re-energize.

Get minty fresh. Brush your teeth; gargle with mouthwash. "Whe you have a fresh clean mouth, you don't want to mess it up."

Distract yourself. If only ice cream will do, it's a craving, not hunger. "cravings typically last 10 minutes," Recognize that and divert your mind: Call someone, listen to music, run an errand, meditate or exercise.

Indulge yourself-within limits. Once in a while it is ok to go ahead and have that ice cream. But a small cone, not a pint. Try 100-calorie snack packs. The trick is to buy only one pack at a time so you won't be tempted to reach for more. And since even 100 extra calories can sabotage weight loss if you indulge daily, strike a gargain with yourself to work off the excess calories. A brisk 15 minute walk will burn 100 calories.

Plan or avoid. Vary your usual routine to avoid passing the bakery or pizzeria. If you know you'll be facing irresistible birthday cake, allocate enough calories to fit it into your diet.

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  • I'm Lazy Daisy
  • From Elizabethton, TN, United States
  • I am a married, empty Nester, missionary, living in the hillside of Tennessee, with lots of homespun humor and hopefully some insights!
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