women

Use these three foolproof steps to ensure you stop any food urges before they strike.

Description: Cut The Crave

Cut The Crave

Want to stop automatically reaching for that afternoon fizzy drink, or tarnishing your week’s healthy eating effort with a carb binge? Whether it’s salt, sweets or the white stuff you’re after, you can out a stop to your cravings.

Diagnose the cause:

1.    Habit?

Always reaching for a rusk with your 4pm coffee? Can’t go see a movie without having wine gums? Eating these foods at these times has become a habit rather than an actual physiological need.

2.    Emotions?

If you console yourself with chocolate, “need” a glass of wine after a tough day, or feel a trip to the vending machine is the only way to deal with frustrations, you may be eating emotionally. Often we use food for reasons other than hunger without even realising it.

3.    Thirst?

If you sometimes feel your hunger is insatiable, it may be thirst. Something as simple as a glass of water may satisfy you instead.

Adopt a strategy

1.    Keep a food diary.

This will help you see if there are times or situations where you want certain foods. Record what time, where and what you eat for at least a week. You may find a pattern emerges. You can then prepare in advance and know how best to handle these situations.

Description:  Keep a food diary.

Keep a food diary.

2.    Rate your hunger.

Before you eat, determine how hungry you are by rating of 2 to 3, you’re doing it for emotional reasons or out of habit. If you eat at an 8 or 9, it means you’re so hungry you’re likely to overeat. You ideally want to have a meal at about a 5 or 6, which is when you’re genuinely physiologically hungry.

3.    Use non-food benefits.

Don’t reward yourself with food as this teaches you to continue using it in an emotional capacity. Rather try a non-food experience such as a bubble bath or a massage.

4.    Drink enough water.

Have at least six to eight glasses a day. This will prevent you from having cravings due to thirst.

Description: Drink enough water

Drink enough water

If you’re craving this… have this

1.    Potato crisps

Pickled cucumbers have all the saltiness, but none of the fat.

Description: 1. Potato crisps

Potato crisps

2.    Pizza

Low-fat mini pizza. Take a small slice of rye bread or seed loaf, and spread it with a tablespoon of tomato-based pasta sauce. Sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of reduced-fat mozzarella. Place a couple of thin slices of tomato on top, and sprinkle with mixed herbs. Pop it in the microwave or under the drill until the cheese bubbles.

Description:  Pizza

Pizza

3.    Chocolate

Fresh dates. They’re sweet enough to kill off your sugar craving, and are a good source of fibre. Limit yourself to three because they’re high in sugar.

Description:  Chocolate, limit yourself to three because they’re high in sugar

Chocolate, limit yourself to three because they’re high in sugar

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