5 Ways You Can Beat Junk Food Cravings
Junk food cravings can seem to come out of nowhere. One minute you feel satisfied and the next you feel like your whole body is asking for a cup of peanut butter or a bowl of ice cream.
Of course, it's ideal when you're craving apples, blueberries, or green beans because they're low in calories and good for you. The problem is when you feel like you need something sweet, salty, or high in fat to be satisfied. Sometimes you may even want all three at once.
You can fight junk food cravings or give in to temptation. It's perfectly okay to indulge yourself once in a while, especially when you choose small portions that allow you to stay within your caloric needs for the day. But when junk food cravings turn into binges, you risk gaining weight and overeating foods that just aren't very good for you.
Here are some helpful tips to help you control your junk food cravings.
Deal with your trigger foods
It's so much easier to give in to temptation when the food you want is within your reach. So, don't keep unhealthy foods that you tend to crave in your kitchen or on your desk. This doesn't mean you can't have treats at home, but select treats that are easier to handle. Don't stock up on chocolate chip cookies if you can't do without the entire package.
Consider whether it's hunger or craving
There is a difference between having the physical sensations of hunger and the mental and emotional sensations of wanting something. If you're hungry and it's not around time to eat, you should probably eat something. If you're not very hungry, try some destructive distraction techniques below.
Go for a walk
Here's another distraction that has health benefits. Eliminate your cravings with a little exercise and go for a walk. If you can't or don't want to go out, exercise for a few minutes. Besides being a distraction, physical activity can help reduce the stress that may be contributing to your cravings. This technique is not recommended for patterns.
Drink water or a low-calorie drink
Drinking a large glass of water can serve as a distraction, or it can solve your craving without adding calories. If plain water seems boring, add a slice or two of lemon, lime, or cucumber. Or drink an iced tea (no sugar added).
Get enough sleep
Adults should sleep 7 to 9 hours a day. It's easier to fight cravings when you get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can lead to increased cravings for junk food and weight gain. If you can't get enough sleep at night, a nap can be helpful during the day as long as it doesn't interfere with your sleep the following night.
There are many healthy and wholesome foods that can satisfy your craving for something sweet or savory. Fresh fruit, a smoothie, peanut butter on a celery stalk, or a slice of whole-wheat toast with almond butter can help quell junk food cravings and add significant nutritional value.
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