The desire to satisfy an intense craving can be so powerful, sometimes it feels uncontrollable. Just imagine this: You were so busy at work that you skipped both breakfast and lunch. Now it’s 1:30 and you see an open package of Oreo cookies on the counter right next to a bag of baby carrots.
Which package is making your mouth water?
Uh-huh. You’ve been there. You know what it feels like being drawn by a force of nature toward the fat and sugar, the crunch of the cookie, and its creamy inside.
As strong as cravings are, you can overcome them with tricks and techniques and not the willpower you just don’t have the energy to muster. Following are helpful suggestions to fight cravings and reduce overeating, according to dietitians and nutritionists. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don’t miss 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.
Giving in to cravings doesn’t mean you lack willpower or control. It means you’re human. “The craving response is an evolutionary mechanism designed to protect you,” explains nutritionist and blogger Dena Gershkovich, RDN, owner of TheArtsyPalate.com.
“When we haven’t eaten for a while, our bodies crave foods that are high in fat and sugar because fat is the most efficient source of energy, and sugar is quickly absorbed by the body,” she explains. People make the mistake of restricting food and avoiding even nutritious between-meal snacks in an attempt to lose weight, but “the best way to avoid cravings is to prevent your hunger from building too much by eating regularly throughout the day,” Gershkovich says.
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Cravings are strong, and they only get stronger when you try to fight them. “Telling yourself the food you crave is ‘bad’ actually increases cravings for it,” says Melissa Mitri, RD, a dietitian for Wellness Verge. “Instead, allow yourself to eat a little bit of what you really want so in time, it loses its appeal.”
Or try the delay technique, she says. “Instead of giving in right away, tell yourself that it’s okay to wait. …….