You are going about your day feeling like your diet is on track, you’ve had your healthy lunch and the next minute you’re longing for something to satisfy your sweet tooth. Or for some it may not even be something sweet; hot chips, a packet of crisps, an iced coffee or a soft drink. Before you know it, you have made your little trip to the closest vending machine and you demolish a chocolate bar.
What just happened? You thought you had your diet under control and then next minute you have succumbed to your cravings. These urges are fueled by feel good brain chemicals such as dopamine, which is released when you eat these type of foods This creates a rush of euphoria that your brain seeks over and over. How do you kick these cravings in the butt? Follow our expert tips.
#1 Prevention is key
What’s the best solution to overcoming the feeling of cravings. Prevention. Before we start diving into the psychological ways we can overcome cravings, lets get back to basics and make sure we are fueling our body with the right foods. Adding quality fat and protein to our main meals are the easiest way to keep you full and even eliminate cravings.
A recent study in the journal “Appetite”, explored that playing the game Tetras reduces the strength, frequency and vividness of naturally occurring cravings. The study found that participants who played Tetris had significantly lower cravings. Bored in your lunch break? Distract yourself by reading a book, playing a game on your phone or calling your friend and you might just find that you will avoid those after lunch cravings.
#3 Give yourself a treat meal
If you are trying to eat healthy it is important to give yourself a treat meal, not a whole treat day or weekend, though! Having a treat meal is a great way to keep your metabolism moving and also can you help overcome the cravings. We often crave things when we know we can’t have them. By telling yourself that you will get to enjoy a treat meal on Friday or Saturday night, you will relieve yourself of the pressure and give you something to look forward too.
#4 Are you creature of habit?
Without even realising it, your cravings may be a result of your routine. Eating a packet of chips while watching TV at night can create powerful association in your brain between food and that specific activity. Your brain becomes accustomed to these habits, therefore as soon as you sit on the lounge your brain triggers a habit of reaching for a snack. When this happens stop and imagine a healthy version of yourself, whether that be lean and fit or active with the kids. After a while your craving will subside. Don’t forget, it takes 21 days to break a habit and 21 days to form a new one!
Don’t forget that you can always have a Lady Bar to beat that sweet craving AND give yourself a great hit of protein at the same time! You’ll find a great deal here.