Despite our best efforts for healthy eating, we've all given into those intense cravings for certain sugary, high-fat, high-calorie foods. It's especially tempting to indulge your cravings after a hard run or workout. Here are some simple tips to keep your cravings from turning into out-of-control binges.
Brush your teeth.When your mouth is minty-fresh, it's likely that you'll want to keep it clean and avoid giving into your craving. You can even floss and gargle with mouthwash to make your mouth feel even cleaner.
Distract yourself.Cravings typically last 10 minutes. If you can distract yourself for that time, you can get over it. When you feel a craving some on, try going for a run, making a cup of tea, making a phone call, listening to music, or doing something else that you really enjoy.
Keep healthy snacks on hand.If you stock your desk drawers, kitchen pantry, and refrigerator with healthy snacks, you're less likely to give into a craving for a high-calorie, high-fat food because you'll have a healthier alternative available. For example, try to have a mug of hot chocolate or a glass of chocolate skim milk instead of a candy bar.
Use portion control.If you have a really strong craving, it's fine to indulge –- a little. If you deprive yourself too much, it may lead you to overeating. Try to prevent yourself from going overboard by placing only a certain amount of food in front of you. Put potato chips in a small bowl rather than eating them right out of the bag, for example. This is especially important after a tough run or workout, when you may feel that a big-calorie binge is justified. In reality, you could end up eating way more calories than you burned during your run.
More: Tips for Portion Control
Write it down.Keep track of your cravings in a journal to determine if your emotional state is the underlying trigger. Once you figure out what's causing your urges, try looking for other ways to relieve stress. Running is always a good stress reliever, but you can also consider calling a friend or watching a funny sitcom.
Avoid mindless eating.Try not to eat while you're driving, watching TV, working on the computer, or doing some other distracting activity. If you eat when you're distracted, you won't pay attention to how much you're eating and you won't fully enjoy your food.
More: How to Avoid Mindless Eating