Have you ever felt your cravings become overwhelming? Does this in turn lead to overindulgence and feelings of guilt? Cravings can become more intense and lead to a vicious cycle of indulging, overeating, and guilt when people completely cut out groups of foods or follow restrictive diets. A balanced eating plan that allows foods you enjoy — even high-fat, high-calorie foods — will be easier to maintain since you aren’t eliminating those foods altogether from your life.
For example, if you sometimes crave chocolate, keep some dark chocolate on hand. Eat it mindfully, enjoy the experience and put it away when you’re satisfied. When you always have chocolate on hand, you’re less likely to overeat it.
Here are some other tips for handling food cravings.
- Make sure you are fueling properly. Often people undereat and this causes late night binging. Make sure you are eating a balanced diet.
- Schedule your snacks. Plan for nutritious snacks to keep your body biologically fed. Keep portable, nutrient-dense snacks in your desk, backpack or car.
- Take a walk, work on a hobby or call a friend. When an intense craving hits, take a moment to consider what else you might be needing at that moment. Are you actually hungry or are you bored or lonely?
- Keep a craving journal. Note the time of day your craving appeared, how long it lasted, the food you craved and how you handled the situation.
Adapted from: eatright.org