1. Drink a glass of water
Sometimes when you have a craving for something sweet, you are simply dehydrated. Drink a glass of cool water to see if that quells your craving.
2. Don’t surround yourself with it!
If the chips are in the pantry or the pastries are in the bread drawer, it’s that much harder to say no. Don’t surround yourself with these temptations, genius! The “company” and the “kids” will do just fine without having unhealthy treats at the ready – and so will you. While we all face temptations at work and in public, at home, it’s fairly easy to control what you eat, so don’t add to the temptation. Hint: see if you can get your boss and team to agree to have only water and reduced-calorie juices or diet sodas instead of more sugary fare. If your company serves lunches, ask about getting healthier options. And when succumbing to the vending machine, go for the nuts instead of chips or candy.
3. Eat a piece of fruit or nuts
Don’t wait for your blood sugar to get so low that you scarf down whatever sugary treat happens to float by when you are weak and hungry. Keep fruit and nuts or string cheese at the ready so you have a reasonably healthy treat when you have a hunger pang or craving. Fruit and nuts both offer a good mix of fiber and vitamins to help you feel sated – and the nuts offer additional value with protein and fat.
4. Brush your teeth
Sometimes cravings come out of sheer boredom. Perk up your mouth and keep your hands busy by brushing your teeth. This isn’t a “cure” for cravings, but it can help if you’re dealing with idle time and find yourself snooping in the fridge.
5. Remind yourself it will still be there anytime.
Thanks to our “primal” blueprint, humans are naturally wired to hoard and to feast. But in our modern times food is nearly always in abundant supply. Remind yourself that you don’t have to have the chocolate cake or the donut just because it’s there – it will still be there next time you pass by or stop in at your favorite restaurant. Allow yourself the occasional indulgence, so that you know you always have a treat to look forward to – just not today.