5 Ways to Conquer Cravings

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Distract yourself for 10 minutes and give the craving time to subside. Generally they will go away if you concentrate on other things. Walk outside, read a book, call a friend, do anything not to give in to the temptation. If it hasn't gone away in 10 minutes, exercise. Exercising releases endorphins, which make you feel good.

Endorphins are also released when you eat fat and sugar, so it makes sense that exercising will make the craving for sweets go away. Plus, you get the bonus of boosting your metabolism and burning calories.

Substitute a similar taste. If you are having a salt craving, don't reach for that bag of chips. Back away slowly and reach for low-salt pretzels or even crispy, cut vegetables with hummus. Trick your taste buds into being satisfied with lower-sodium, lower-calorie alternatives. For chocolate cravings, try low-fat hot cocoa or dip fresh fruit wedges in a nonfat, low-sugar chocolate syrup or chocolate-flavored yogurt.

Soothe stress and stop carbohydrate cravings. Carbohydrate cravings are usually the result of stress. Comfort food, as Grandmother calls it, is typically carbohydrate-laden and oh-so-good but not always so good for you.

The reason we reach for those cookies when we are stressed is because some carbohydrates are known to release serotonin, a chemical in the brain that makes you feel calm or that all is well. If you're stressed, try other stress relievers before you eat those cookies. Yoga, deep breathing routines or exercising are all good choices. Then, if you still must have carbohydrates, try some crunchy, fresh vegetables.