We’ve all been there. Whether it’s that time of the month or just a well-produced magazine ad that does you in, every now and then a college girl is faced with a craving for a less-than-healthy food item. While everything is alright in moderation, indulging in these cravings too often can throw your balanced diet off kilter and lead to health problems (including weight gain, skin problems, and trouble sleeping). When you feel it getting the best of you, follow these three tips for kicking it:
Believe it or not, dehydration can cause our body to react in all sorts of strange ways. Sometimes, we don’t even feel thirsty, but our brain recognizes that something is missing and processes it as hunger, or a craving for a particular taste like sweet or salty. Couple that with a gooey Dairy Queen blizzard flashing across your TV screen and it’s easy to decide you need that medium oreo. Before you act, pour a tall glass of cold water and drink it slowly. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 glasses before you’re rehydrated, but this can often squelch even the most nagging of naughty cravings.
Just because you think you want a chocolate milkshake, doesn’t mean that’s the only thing that will cure your craving. Try to find healthier alternatives that provide the same fix that your food item would. If you’re craving sweets, some fresh fruit or light yogurt can satisfy your sweet tooth. Need a salty snack? Why not try pickles or microwave popcorn before rushing out to buy a large fry. Sometime it’s not the substance itself, but the flavour or texture you’re really craving, so try finding a healthy substitute to trick your brain into thinking it’s the real deal.
If all else fails, you might need to cave, but try to follow some self-control. Order a small portion of the food you’re craving and eat it slowly. As the craving lessens, consider whether you’re really enjoying the food anymore, or if it’s worth it to toss the rest, or share with a friend. Even just half a chocolate bar might be enough to satisfy your sweet tooth for the night and keep you from eating a whole pint of ice cream in two weeks time when the craving overwhelms you.
What Do You Think?
What foods do you crave the most? Do you indulge or try to control your cravings? Leave a comment or forum post and let us know!