Whether it's the enticing aroma of chocolate chip cookies or peer pressure at the company potluck, cravings can be difficult to manage, but there are ways to stay on track that you might not have considered.
When you have a craving you can't seem to kick, try one of these surprising solutions—and say goodbye to that insatiable need for a donut.
Keep Snacks on Hand2 of 9
Having protein-rich snacks in your work desk, in the car or in the pantry goes a long way in helping you keep those cravings at bay. If you're eating balanced meals, including healthy, protein-rich snacks you enjoy, there won't be a ton of room for cravings.
Think toasted almonds, bananas with honey, apples and peanut butter and string cheese sticks. All of these snack options are delicious, filling and sure to divert your attention from that pesky craving.
Acupressure3 of 9
Get out of those cravings in a "pinch" with this ancient secret. Acupressure takes the gold for a craving fix that doesn't require much thought or planning. Pinching your nose or the skin between your earlobe and your jaw is thought to help control appetite.
Acupressure also has other benefits, including boosting mood and banishing aches and pains. Note: When trying acupressure, keep in mind that certain acupressure points on the body may induce labor in pregnant women, so be careful and consult a professional if needed.
Brush Your Teeth4 of 9
Minty breath is one of life's simple pleasures, but it also makes you think twice before taking a bite into that treat. Mint typically doesn't pair well with most foods, so whatever you eat will taste unpleasant.
For a regular routine, brush after meals and keep a toothbrush kit handy. Your dentist and your waistline will both be pleased.
Tapping Your Head5 of 9
The New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center found that tapping your head for at least 30 seconds activates the part of the brain in charge of food cravings. You're essentially interrupting the brain's processing in that department.
This simple technique can be done from anywhere at any time.
Lighten Up6 of 9
Why do most restaurants dim the lights at dinnertime? Studies show that it lowers inhibitions and makes those cravings seem like no big deal. That's why that dessert tray looks better at nighttime.
Include brighter bulbs around the dinner table if your lighting fixtures can handle it, and avoid eating dinner by the television light. If you must go to that wonderful restaurant you've been meaning to try, have a good time but remember to tune into your hunger and fullness and stop eating when you feel satisfied.
Commit to De-Stressing7 of 9
Everyone has stress in their lives, whether it be from work, family, health or money issues. This stress can wreak havoc on your intentions to live healthy. Stress often triggers emotional eating and cravings, and since emotional eating is a learned behavior, it might be easier to turn to food if you've been in the habit of doing so in the past.
Commit to learning new, healthier ways to de-stress that don't involve turning to food. Even in times of little to no stress, maintaining a meditation practice or regular exercise can help with food cravings.
Kick Up the Spices8 of 9
If you love spicy foods or the occasional extra "kick" in your meals, consider weaving in spices throughout the week. Not only are they tasty, but spicy foods keep you fuller longer, and they're great for your metabolism.
Not to mention, if you're feeling under the weather, spicy food is great for your sinuses.
Just Give In9 of 9
Occasionally giving into a craving isn't such a bad thing . The obsession over the craving itself could make you go overboard anyway, which is the opposite of what healthful eating is about. Cravings can pop up for any number of reasons, including vitamin deficiencies or emotional memories.
Giving into some dark chocolate or the hearty red meat of a yummy cheeseburger can help you maintain your healthy habits long term.