It’s a single thought. I want: potato chips, the crunch & salt. I want: chocolate cake, sliding off the fork. How do you fight these unhealthy food cravings? If you are really craving something sweet, celery won’t cut it.
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Food cravings can easily wreck a day of healthy eating. To get to the bottom of it, you need to stop and ask yourself some questions, says registered dietitian Anna Taylor, MS, RD, LD, CDE.
“Is this hunger, based on your body’s physiological needs? Or is it appetite, which is rooted in emotional and mental desire?” she says.
If you’re not sure, she suggests distracting yourself for 10 or 15 minutes before acting on a craving. “Keeping your hands busy can help,” she says. “Do some crosswords, journal, wash dishes or just pet the dog.” Another delay tactic? Brush your teeth or chew peppermint gum.
Not working? Try our dietitian’s 24 mindful substitutions above to scratch that food itch.
If you have daily or frequent cravings you feel you simply cannot ignore, consider working with a counselor or dietitian to get to the root cause(s).