8 Ways to Control Your Cravings and Save Your Diet

Boost your weight loss plan with these tips to resist temptation.

By Paula Dranov from Reader's Digest | July 2006
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1. Avoid Your Triggers

'You crave what you eat, so if you switch what you're eating, you can weaken your old cravings and strengthen new ones,' says Marcia Pelchat, PhD, of the Monell Center. This can happen pretty fast. For five days, her study volunteers drank bland dietary-supplement beverages. During that time, they craved fewer of their trigger foods. By the end of the study, the volunteers actually wanted the supplements instead. The first few days are always the hardest, and you probably can't completely eliminate your old cravings. But the longer you avoid your trigger foods, the less likely you may be to want them. In fact, you'll probably begin to crave the foods you eat, a real bonus if you've switched to fresh fruit.

2. Go Nuts

Drink two glasses of water and eat an ounce of nuts (6 walnuts, 12 almonds or 20 peanuts). Within 20 minutes, this can extinguish your craving and dampen your appetite by changing your body chemistry, says Michael F. Roizen, MD.

3. Let it Go

Since stress is a huge trigger for cravings, learning to deal with it could potentially save you hundreds of calories a day. This will take some practice. You can try deep breathing or visualizing a serene scene on your own, or you can speed things up by buying one of the many CDs that teach progressive muscle relaxation. A good one is Relaxation/Affirmation Techniques, by Nancy Hopps.

4. Take a Power Nap

5. Get Minty Fresh

6. Distract Yourself

7. Indulge Yourself -- Within Limits

8. Plan or Avoid

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