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Attack Cravings!

Chocolatephoto © 2006 Martin L | more info (via: Wylio)We’ve all been there: One minute you are sitting idly, minding your own business when – BAM! – a craving strikes that’s so intense, you can’t think of anything else. Why and when we crave certain foods has been debated for years, however,  for the most part, cravings are more mental than physical.

That’s right!  Cravings are all in your head. Research shows that how strong your cravings are depends on how vividly you can imagine them. So if you become intensely focused on that rocky road ice cream, you are using much of your brainpower to focus on that image and tastes. In doing so, you use less of your brainpower to focus on other tasks. That’s why when you suddenly want a piece of chocolate, only a piece of chocolate will do, and everything else takes a backseat until you get that chocolate.

Luckily, you can use the same logic to thwart those random snack attacks. Distracting yourself with thoughts that aren’t food-related can quash cravings. Focus on your big project at work or a sample sale at your favorite store. The next time a bag of chips or a gooey cinnamon bun comes calling, try one of these simple craving busters:

  1. Pop a piece of sugar-free peppermint gum into your mouth. The feeling of clean teeth will prevent you from noshing on unhealthy snacks, and the scent has been proven to reduce appetites.
  2. Take a quick walk around the neighborhood and soak in your surroundings. The beautiful flowers, yapping dogs and clear skies can take your mind off of that nagging internal itch. At work and can’t get outside? Cruise the halls, head to the bathroom, or walk around your office and chug some ice cold water.
  3. Intense exercise has been shown to reduce your appetite.Hop on your bike or grab some weights for a 30-minute sweat session. Cravings? What cravings?
  4. Sniff some eucalyptus. Just thinking of this scent was found to be successful in a cravings study.
  5. Try accupressure. Some believe that accupressure can help alleviate stubborn cravings. Place two fingers below your ear where your jaw hinges. Open your mouth until you feel a bump, then press and hold.

Sources: http://www.oxygenmag.com

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