It happens to the best of us. No matter how healthy you eat or how much you exercise, every now and then you get hit with an insatiable craving for something you know you'll regret eating. Whether it's a cheesy pizza with all the toppings or triple fudge sundae, there are a few things that can help you fend off the temptation.
Walk it off
Of course, regular aerobic exercise can boost your metabolism, which is good for burning calories. But the next time you're craving a less-than-nutritious treat, try taking a quick walk. Not only will it take your mind off of eating, you'll feel invigorated afterwards. If you're at work, try a fast loop around the parking lot—you'll likely be more productive when you return to your desk.
Staying hydrated is an important part of any weight loss program. But if you're not get enough water, you can feel tired or sluggish. Making sure you have access to water throughout the day is a great way keep from reaching for a quick boost from an unhealthy snack. However, if you're one of those people who just aren't fond of water, try adding a few mint leaves or a slice of lemon to liven it up without adding calories.
Just like when you're dehydrated, if you're not getting enough regular sleep you will likely feel tired and sluggish. If taking a nap during the day isn't an option—which it isn't for most—try working on getting to bed earlier and getting a full night's sleep on a regular basis.
Keep healthy snacks on hand
So you're well-hydrated and getting plenty of sleep—maybe you are just hungry. When hunger hits, if you're not prepared with a healthy option on hand, you're much more likely to head for the junk food. Keep cut fruits and vegetables ready to go, as these are high in fiber and will take longer to digest than sugary cookies or high-sodium pretzels.
Being under a lot of stress can also make you vulnerable to cravings. While exercise is one of the best ways to de-stress, if time is limited, even a few stretches can help. In addition, just taking a break from whatever you're doing can make a big difference. Try gazing out of a window for a minute or two, flipping through a magazine you've been meaning to read, or calling a friend to catch up.
As strange as it sounds, sometimes just having a small taste of whatever you're craving will make it go away. The important thing here is to have a healthy snack as well. That will take care of the hunger and keep you from over doing it. But if you don't think you have enough willpower for this one, it might be best to stick with some of the other options.
Whichever method you choose, the important thing is to stay aware of what your body is telling you and eliminate any outside factors that could be causing your cravings. Even if you slip up now and then, at least you'll have an action plan to get you back on track.