By Stellerie Noyons, RD
Registered Dietician, Health City Cayman Islands
From ruining your progress, to making you feel like a failure, food cravings may drive you crazy, until you learn to conquer them. But it’s not about eliminating them altogether and it’s not about building up your willpower—rather, we conquer our cravings by outsmarting them.
The craving cycle works like this: first comes the urge (the craving), followed by the behavior (finding a food that satisfies the craving) and lastly the reward (eating the food you wanted). The more often you reward your cravings, the more often your brain gets a hit of pleasure.
Break the cycle by changing your patterns. If you get a craving in the afternoon, go for a short walk instead of reaching for a cookie. Other options are to grab a tea or coffee, or eat a healthy snack packed in your bag such as fruit, plain Greek yoghurt or a handful of nuts.
Avoiding cravings altogether is best done by eating balanced meals throughout the day. Protein helps control your appetite, so always add good sources of protein to your meals, such as eggs, fish, chicken, tofu, tempeh, beans, lentils and lean beef or pork.