We have all been there – you’re binge-watching your new favorite show on NetFlix and all of a sudden, you feel hungry and grab a pack of potato chips despite just having finished your dinner.
These are signs of food cravings and more often than not, there is no good which comes out of them. In fact you are left with an awful feeling after eating the food you were craving for.
Cravings are not hunger cues, but rooted in emotions such as stress or anxiety. In some cases, you may find yourself craving for food for no rational reason whatsoever. But luckily there are ways in which you can beat cravings. In a recent article published on CNN, they rounded up these three useful tricks to stop food cravings.
How to Stop Food Cravings
1. Eat Safe Foods in a Mindful Way
Next time you have a craving, just try eating a safe food. Safe foods are superfoods such as carrots, salad, almonds, grapefruits, etc. These foods are low in calories, but high in fiber. This means they can fill you up easily. Most safe foods are also known for their fat-burning properties.
You can also practice mindful eating while eating these safe foods. Mindful eating is like an antidote to food cravings. Several nutrition experts believe in the power of mindfulness in beating food cravings.
2. Use Your Imagination
Since we all imagine food cravings, one theory states that we can forget a craving by imagining something else. In a behavioral research conducted at Queen Mary’s University of London, 48 people were asked to use an app called iCrave to fire up their imagination while craving for food. The app would then suggest an imagery task (like, imagine a forest or a white horse) to distract the brain from the food. The results of their tests showed a significant reduction in unhealthy snacking, and snacking overall.
3. Play a game on your phone
Imagination not doing the trick and still craving for food? Playing a game on your smartphone might help. A 2015 study published in Addictive Behaviors found that playing Tetris for just 3 minutes reduced food and drink cravings by about 14%.
This is because playing a visually interesting game such as Tetris occupies the mental processes that support the craving imagery. In other words, it is hard to crave for food and play Tetris at the same time.
So next time you have a craving, go ahead and play Candy Crush on your phone. Just don’t send those annoying Candy Crush requests to your friends on Facebook.
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