Good things come to those who wait.
Learning to delay responses to cravings and impulse eating is essential for losing weight and developing long term healthy eating habits. But developing a higher level of control in response to ingrained behaviors, particularly around food, can be immensely challenging. One of the keys lies in distraction.
Building in a little bit of time between when the impulse to eat hits and when you reach for that snack can be tremendously helpful in staving off habitual eating. Even a few minutes helps. Try these six simple strategies to distract yourself when cravings hit:
How to Combat Food Cravings
1. Drink a Glass of Water
Most of us don’t drink nearly enough water, so reaching for a tall glass of H2O when you’re inclined to eat is a good thing. Remember: it’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger. Water also helps you feel full, which can help ward off excess eating. If you’re getting bored of water, try these easy ways to hydrate.
2. Take a Brisk Walk
Changing up the scenery can help take your mind off food. Taking a brisk walk around the block, or up and down a few flights of stairs in your office building, will help you feel refreshed, and will give you a couple of minutes to consider whether you really need that snack or not.
3. Turn up the Tunes
Listening to your favorite music can be a wonderful distraction when cravings hit. Bonus, it’s a fun and easy way to get your body moving and boost your physical and emotional energy.
4. Brush Your Teeth
Raffi had it right. When you need to distract yourself, brush your teeth. Grab a glass of water while you’re at it.
5. Light a Candle
Often the urge to eat is driven by our emotions. An easy way to calm and soothe yourself is to simply light a scented candle. It’s a pleasant and simple reminder to slow down to stay on track.
6. Play a Game
When you’re trying to avoid something pleasurable, like eating, do something else that is equally fun like playing cards, tackling a crossword or Sudoku puzzle, or getting engrossed in a game on your phone.
Achieve your weight loss and health goals with JumpstartMD
At JumpstartMD, we believe in real food. Our meal strategies celebrate fresh, whole foods, not liquid diets, processed foods or deprivation. We create realistic and sensible meal solutions that are delicious and easily integrate into your personal, professional, and social life. At its core, sustained weight loss is about changing habits.