With the best will in the world to lose weight or stay a healthy weight, everyone is still human and can fall into the trap of snacking on junk food or calorific snacks. With all the delicious options out there at our convenience, from McDonald’s to Krispy Kreme, it is difficult to curb those cravings. If you’re feeling the struggle to avoid temptation, here are seven things you should try.
1. Keep hydrated
It is very common to confuse thirst for hunger, so make sure you are drinking at least 2 litres of water a day. This is a generally healthy thing to do as well as helping you curb those cravings. Avoid soda, even diet sodas, as they contain sweeteners which trick your brain into thinking it’s going to get something sweet, so you may find that you still want something bad. You may find that if you are feeling tempted by something sugary, and then take a big drink of water, the feeling passes! Next time you fancy a doughnut, reach for a drink of water first and see how you feel after. You’ll be pleasantly surprised! (Another tip: ice cold water ‘shocks’ your body and is better for your metabolism)
2. Brush your teeth
Brushing your teeth is a great way to avoid junk food, as it is a distraction and gives you something to do away from the kitchen. The fresh, minty taste afterwards will mean any junk food will taste gross and you will be saying no to those late night snacks. Plus, like drinking water, brushing your teeth is something that will both curb your cravings AND is a good thing anyway for keeping that gorgeous smile.
3. Pamper yourself
If you’re feeling the urge to snack, set up a nail salon in your room and paint your nails a pretty colour. Doing something with your hands is always a good tip to avoid temptation, and it is similarly advised that smokers trying to quit do things with their hands too! It’s not silly to compare the two, as junk food can be an addiction in itself. As you let the polish dry, you will have forgotten all about that craving. If you’re not into nails, then draw yourself a bath. Get candles, fragrant lotions, a face pack – whatever you need to fully relax and enjoy the bath! This is another relaxing way to occupy yourself instead of snacking on sweets.
4. Re-arrange something
Finally get round to cleaning your room, organise your clothes into sections, alphabetise your CDs (yeah, some of us still have CDs!). Whatever you can think of, if you are occupied with tidying or arranging something then you are not sitting bored and letting your mind wander to sugary and fatty places! Plus, having a tidy and organised space will also help de-clutter your mind and reduce stress, a common feeling that leads to unnecessary snacking.
5. Write it down
This may sound cheesy, but if you find that you are craving junk food too often, get a note pad and pen and write down exactly how you are feeling. What kind of food are you craving? What time of the day is it usually? This is a positive mind exercise to not only confront head-on what you are having issues with, but to clarify how you can solve this issue. For example, if you are dying for something sweet in the afternoon, then maybe you need to have a better, high protein and fibre breakfast. Or if you’re a late night snacker, then some of the tips like having a bath or drinking more water may help to keep you distracted before bed.
6. Research something
No, you don’t have to study the economic system of the Soviet Union. But grab your laptop or head to the library, and start researching something that interests you. It could be the origins of your favourite band, interesting facts about well-known places or people, unsolved mysteries, conspiracy theories – literally anything that you are interested in. Trying to avoid junk cravings does not have to be an effort; it can be a fun pastime too.
7. Listen to your body!
This has all been about avoiding those snacks, but sometimes you should treat yourself! Just as long as you keep everything in moderation, you can still listen to your body and have that cookie or whatever it is you want. We should be healthy, but not deprive ourselves. Plus, if we literally never eat anything remotely bad, and then get that first taste of something, our bodies cannot handle the deprivation and this often leads to binges. Stay in moderation!