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Fuel Your Body...Don't Feed That Craving!

By Kristina Haisten

Go ahead and confess: You're completely addicted to potato chips. Your determination weakens every time you think about munching into one, hearing the crunch, and getting that first taste of its salty flavor. If you don't flip over chips, there's probably another food that lures you into the refrigerator or the pantry. According to one study, 97% of women (compared to 68% of men) experience food cravings.

How do you control these urges that send you spiraling away from your diet plan toward an unrestrained binge? I have researched this topic to give you sound advice on how to enjoy eating even a forbidden food without turning it into a feeding frenzy. Read on - and never again feel guilty about eating a piece of chocolate.

Take Charge of Your Eating Habits.

Try to control the number of food cravings you experience. It seems to be impossible, but if you use the power of your mind to psyche yourself and develop fewer cravings, then slowly you'll submit to fewer cravings.

According to one study of nearly 500 women, researchers found that women who received 200 milligrams of calcium daily reduced their number of premenstrual food cravings by 54%. Skim milk and yogurt are good sources that won't add a lot of calories. But what if you're lactose intolerant? Try a calcium-fortified orange juice or cereal with added calcium. If you don't feel you can get sufficient calcium from food, you can use a calcium supplement like Caltrate or a nutritional juice like Fruta Vida that contains calcium.

Find ways to relax and reduce stress. When you're anxious, your body produces more of the hormone cortisol, which may increase your desire for sweets and carbohydrates. Sweets and carbohydrates temporarily increase our levels of serotonin, making us feel calm and relaxed. Try instead to calm down by exercising, meditating, practicing yoga, taking a long walk or better yet, a long bubble bath.

Make sure you can distinguish specific cravings from real hunger. Suppose you're driving by a fast food restaurant and all of a sudden, you have an intense craving for french fries. Rather than turning into the drive thru, reassess your urge. Turn on your favorite music and switch your attention away from the fries. But what if it really is hunger and you don't have time to find anything else? Then go inside, but order a salad and a diet coke.

Don't be afraid to give to your craving every once in a while. Learn how to have a small amount of your favorite treat and watch what happens. When you begin including small amounts of these forbidden foods into your diet, a funny thing happens: You don't crave them anymore. To allow yourself that little luxury, cut hundred's of unnecessary calories from your daily diet.

Cut Those Calories!

Absolutely, you can cut on hundreds of calories on what you eat every day! How? By making appropriate choices and replacing high-calorie foods such as cheese, creams, whole milk and butter with low-calorie alternatives. Here are easy tricks to keep you cooking and eating minus the calories.

  • When cooking, use a nonstick pan to reduce the use of butter and/or oil.

  • Remove the fat from the meat.

  • Remove the skin of chicken before serving.

  • Use butter-flavored seasoning on vegetables instead of real butter.

  • For casseroles, desserts and sauces use evaporated skim milk (12 cal. /tbsp.) instead of heavy cream (51 cal. /tbsp.)

  • Cook stews and other casseroles ahead of time. Refrigerate.

  • Remove congealed fat before serving.

  • Choose a real orange (71 cal.) over orange juice (90 cal./6 oz).

  • Low-calorie vegetables and fruits (cucumbers, asparagus, carrots, apples, and broccoli) are good replacements for crackers and chips.

  • Use two egg whites (34 cal.) for cakes instead of one egg (82 cal.).

  • Choose diet margarine (50 cal.) instead of the regular margarine (100 cal.).

  • Choose cereals with the least sugar and lots of fiber, then add fresh fruit for more flavor.

  • At parties, good substitutes for snacks are carrot sticks, celery sticks, pickle slices, and raw mushroom caps. These are all great with dips.

  • Grill your hamburgers and always choose a lean beef.

Fueling your body with nutritional food and not feeding a craving depends on the right attitude. You have the power to choose.

About The Author
Kristina Haisten

Cutting calories can sometimes reduce important vitamins and minerals in your diet.

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