Distract yourself for a few minutes
When a craving crops up (must have that cheese pizza now), you don’t have to pick up your phone and place an order for delivery. Instead, quash it by doing something else. In a recent study published in the journal Appetite, participants viewed a menu of yummy-sounding foods in order to pique temptation. Those who moved onto a distracting activity—playing Tetris for three minutes or solving a puzzle—experienced fewer cravings and were more likely to choose fruit as a snack or a non-food reward over chocolate or candy compared to a control group. Distraction interrupts images in your head of these crave-worthy foods, so, well…you forget about them. Here are science-backed tips to stop cravings.
Imagine your success
Does snacking get in the way of your weight loss goals because the bag of chips is just too hard to resist? Try Functional Imagery Training (FIT), developed by researchers at Plymouth University in the UK, a new strategy where you imagine your health and weight loss goals in a vivid way (e.g. focusing on the immediate benefits of feeling good and recalling past triumphs where you said ‘no’ to that cupcake at work), which ultimately kicks the craving out of your brain and keeps you motivated. In a 2016 study, people who attended a session of FIT ate fewer junky snacks over the next two weeks compared to another group who started the trial later. By the end of the trial, both groups had cleaned up their snacking habits. Score! These are bizarre weight-loss tips that really work.