Experts believe that food cravings are one part temptation and one part habit. How can you use that information to avoid giving in? Try the following tips from top psychologists.
Go for the flow. Turns out your brain can handle only a certain amount of stimuli at once. Studies have shown that you can distract yourself from cravings by engaging in an activity that creates “flow”—when you’re fully engaged and immersed in an activity. If a craving strikes during travel, distract yourself by writing a postcard, reading a book, playing a game on your smartphone, or phoning a friend.
Talk yourself down. To short-circuit cravings, stop for a moment and think. Some self-talk statements that may help when a craving strikes:
- I don’t have to eat everything that I crave.
- I wouldn’t want that food if I hadn’t… (just seen it on a commercial, smelled it as the server walked by… You fill in the blank).
- I know I’m not hungry.
- I can avoid cravings like this one.
- I am doing everything I can to follow a healthy diet and exercise plan.
Plan one perk per day. No one wants to spend a whole trip in deprivation mode. Each day, select one indulgence. Keep it to 150 to 200 calories, and have it instead of one of your usual snacks. If you choose a higher-calorie snack, increase your workout that day to compensate.