It’s not an easy task being healthy when you are surrounded by fatty and sugary foods. Temptations run high when you see foods you are trying to avoid most and sometimes those hard-to-resist cravings leave you cheating on your diet. But you needn’t worry, we’ve compiled a list to help you deal with those devious food urges without falling off the wagon.
1. Never say “I can’t”
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When you tell your brain you can’t eat something, it undermines your sense of power and personal agency. A better way to deal with this is to train your brain that you can eat the unhealthy foods but you choose not to. According to Psychology Today, this thought gives more power and control to your actions and you tend to see eating as a choice as opposed to a restriction. Because the truth is, it is your choice.
2. A little bit doesn’t hurt
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No, taking a bite of that rich, decadent, cupcake will NOT make you gain 50 pounds overnight. A strict diet will only give you a craving frenzy and make you binge later, so don’t deprive your sweet tooth, instead Jillian Michael, certified personal trainer, suggests, “try allotting up to a fifth of your daily calorie allowance to the sweet of your choice”.
3. Opt for healthy alternatives
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A healthy diet does not mean you have to rule out everything tempting. If you’re craving chocolate, indulge in dark chocolate, research suggests that the higher the percentage of cocoa the more the beneficial antioxidants. Similarly, if you’re craving chips, make a batch of kale chips, not only will they be nutritious but they’ll be just as crunchy and crispy as your regular chips. Looking for healthier alternative will give you a wider variety to try without missing the unhealthy stuff.
4. Pen your poor choices
Keep a record of all the cravings you indulge in by jotting them down and collecting them in a jar. As Susan Albers, PsyD and author of 50Ways To Soothe Yourself Without Food writes, “It’ll help you be more aware of how much you’re eating”. It will also help you keep track of the times you let go and will act as a reminder so you do not make poor choices in the future.
5. Carry healthy snacks
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Usually cravings arise when you’re with company indulging in foods you are avoiding which makes one more likely to reach for the unhealthy goods. A simple way to avoid this is to carry healthy snacks on-the-go. Keep a packet of shelled pistachios in your bag or dried fruits so you can munch on something while your company chows down the untouchables.