Think moderation and not abstinence at all times!
- Understand that self-control and discipline by themselves, won't cut it! If you depend totally on yourself for control, you will fail. Forming caring and supportive relationships is required. If you do not currently have a support network, start building one TODAY.
- Exercise. It increases feel-good endorphins that cut down on your cravings. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
- Use moderation. Instead of stuffing yourself with every kind of food hoping that your craving will go away, eat 100 to 200 calories of your "craved" food.
- Substitute with low-fat foods and complex carbs. If youíre hungry for chocolate, eat non-fat chocolate yogurt. Try fig bars or raisins for a sweet craving.
- Never skip a meal. Eat every three to five hours. Try six smaller meals or regular meals with nutritious snacks.
- Understand that hunger cravings are oftentimes stress related; walk in the park, spiritual connections, a cozy fireplace, baths...all these stimulate regions of the brain that stimulate pleasure. Relaxation techniques may also work. Bottom line, substitute pleasurable experiences for comfort foods.
- Beware of certain medications. They can stimulate appetite. Drugs used for the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder can be appetite stimulants. Other drugs, both prescription and over the counter, may influence appetite as well. If you are on a medication, and troubled by food cravings, discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist. You may be able to find an alternative that doesn't send your cravings out of control.
- Distract Yourself. Get busy. Do anything other than cave-in to your desire for food.
- Look inside your refrigerator and kitchen cabinets and do some "house cleaning." Throw-out that unhealthy stuff and start shopping more wisely. Careful planning will go a long way for improving your chances of success.
Eat wisely, be happy, and live long!
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