I gotta confess: I'm completely addicted to crisps. Any kind is fine. Don't mind the flavor - they all taste fine. My resolve weakens every time I think about chomping into one. Feeling the crunch, hearing the crackle, and getting that first taste of its tangy flavor. Bliss - and if you are into crisps then you probably wish you had a packet right now - probably a big one.
But maybe crisps aren’t your thing. Probably there's another food that lures you into the refrigerator or the pantry cabinet. I can think of a few more that do it for me. Milk chocolate, do-nuts, crispy pies....and the list goes on. I have no doubt that you probably have a list of your own - right. According to one study, 97% of women (compared to 68% of men) experience cravings on food.
So how do you control these urges that pull you away from your diet plan and down the temporary joy of self-indulgence? I researched on the topic to give you what some experts advise on how to enjoy that art called eating without it turning into a feeding frenzy. Read on - and never again feel guilty about eating a chocolate chip cookie.
This is what they say:
Take Charge of Your Eating Habits.
Try to control the number of food cravings you experience. It appears to be impossible for humans like us, but if you psyche yourself and develop fewer cravings, then slowly you'll submit to fewer cravings.(I'm not sure how to do this - maybe imagine that hamburger as a large lump on your butt or that chocolate as a shiny red bulge on your forehead)
According to one study of nearly 500 women, researchers found that women who received a daily 1, 200 milligram calcium supplement reduced their number of premenstrual food cravings by 54%. To reach the same result by getting the needed calcium intake from food, rely on skim milk and yogurt. Sounds a bit difficult for all lactose intolerant? Try some calcium-fortified foods or juices like cheese and calcium-filled orange juices. If you don't feel you can get sufficient calcium from food, make up the difference using a supplement of calcium carbonate or calcium citrate.
How about something relaxing? When you're anxious, the body produces more of the hormone cortisol, which may increase the amount of carbohydrates you want to eat. Sweets or carbohydrates temporarily increase our levels of serotonin, making us feel calm and relaxed.
Thus, one way of helping curb your sweet tooth, rent some videos, text your funniest friends, or schedule a spa weekend. Why not have a bit of chocolate once in a while? When you begin including small amounts of these forbidden foods into your diet, a funny thing happens: You don't crave them anymore.
Distinguish specific cravings from hunger. Suppose you drive by a fast food outlet and all of a sudden, you develop a deep craving for French fries. Rather than rushing down the drive thru section, reassess your urge. Turn on your favorite music and switch your attention away from the fries idea. Suppose, on the other hand, you feel the need to satisfy not the urge but your hunger, select an apple pie or salad as a substitute.
Cut Hundreds of Calories.
Sure you can cut on hundreds of calories on what you eat every day! How? By making the appropriate choices on replacing high-calorie to low-calorie foods, such as cheese, creams, whole milk, butter, etc. Here are easy tricks to keep you cooking and eating minus the calories.
Â• When cooking, use nonstick pan to eliminate the use of butter and/or oil.
Â• Remove the fat from the meat.
Â• Remove the skin of chicken before serving.
Â• Use butter-flavored seasoning on vegetables instead of sprinkling butter.
Â• For casseroles, desserts and sauces, use evaporated skim milk (12 cal./tbsp.) instead of heavy cream (51 cal./tbsp.)
Â• Cook stews and other casseroles ahead of time. Refrigerate. Remove congealed fat before serving.
Â• Choose real orange (71 cal.) over an orange juice (90 cal./6 oz).
Â• For snacks, low-calorie fruits (cucumbers, asparagus, carrots, apples, pickles) are good replacements for crackers and breads.
Â• Use bottled chocolate extract for milk shakes instead of sweetened cocoa.
Â• Use two egg whites (34 cal.) for cakes instead of one egg (82 cal.).
Â• Choose diet margarine (50 cal.) instead of the regular margarine (100 cal.).
Â• Choose cereals with the least calories then add fresh fruits to be more nutritious.
Â• In parties, good substitutes for snacks are carrot strips, pickle slices, and raw mushroom caps.
Â• Drip away fats by cooking hamburgers on the rack.
Â• Avoid chips with dips.
Staying in healthy shape depends on the right behaviors. So how strong is your will power to control the urge?
Prepared by Kevin Bauer