How to beat cravings to lose weight, according to Mayo Clinic

Feeling satisfied helps limit cravings.

Photo: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels

Cravings, especially for sugar or unhealthy carbohydrates, can lead to bingeing or excessive calorie consumption. Giving in to cravings on a regular basis can affect your weight loss or control purposes.

7 ways to beat cravings

1. Enjoy a small portion. Mayo Clinic notes that it is not better to include a small portion of the foods you crave than to avoid them altogether.

If your craving is for a treat, enjoy a square of chocolate, opting for dark chocolate can be a healthy option, according to Harvard. Cocoa is rich in flavonoids with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that promote longevity. Opt for dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content.

2. Eat something healthy first. Feeling satisfied helps limit cravings. Some desserts or snacks can be tasty, easy to make, healthy, and satisfying, such as yogurt with strawberries, a handful of walnuts, or an apple with peanut butter.

Swapping junk food for some fruit when you’re in the mood for something sugary can provide the sweet taste you need and stop your craving, as well as giving you beneficial compounds like antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber.

3. Junk snacks out of your sight. Having unhealthy foods in front of you increases the likelihood of craving.

4. Change your mental image. In times of craving, Mayo Clinic advises that you replace the image of food with an image of yourself doing your favorite activity or some other enjoyable image.

5. Chewing gum. Chewing gum can help control sugar cravings. Chewing gums with artificial sweeteners taste sweet but have minimal calories and are sugar-free.

6. Distract yourself. Cravings are more likely to appear when you are tired or stressed. Taking a walk, doing another exercise, taking deep breaths, talking to someone, or doing another activity can distract your cravings. Food cravings generally go away after 20 minutes.

7. Get enough sleep. Sleep Foundation explains that lack of sleep can affect appetite and food choices, increasing the likelihood of overeating and consuming unhealthy foods since sleep plays an important role in regulating hormones such as leptin and ghrelin.

It may interest you:

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–A serving of white rice has almost the same effect as eating pure table sugar, according to Harvard
–5 best foods that have good fats for your body