Bypass cravings with a little strategic planning

A craving can occur when you least expect it. You’re plugging away, focused on the task at hand, when suddenly all you can think about is a cheeseburger deluxe, fries and chocolate shake. Next thing you know, you’re detouring for the closest drive-through instead of the gym. Or they can happen like clockwork. You eat your lunch at the same time every day, and immediately after your sweet tooth hits. The result? Diving into the stash of cookies in your desk drawer.

Cravings are common. They can be fleeting, or they can linger. They can be brought on by a bad day or by watching your favorite cooking show. Whichever the case, it can be super annoying and test the limits of your fitness and weight loss goals. Now, while a little indulgence may occasionally help your results and help you overcome plateaus, giving in every time a craving hits will be detrimental to your cause. Here are five strategies to keep you prepared in the event of a craving emergency.

1. Plan ahead

Nothing’s worse for a naughty craving than an empty fridge and no meals in sight. Knowing there is a lovely meal awaiting you as soon as you walk in the door or dipping into the prepped container of fresh fruit you have on standby will keep you satisfied and proud of your willpower.

2. Multitask

If your Monday night usually involves watching your favorite show accompanied by a large bowl of Chicago Mix, find something to take your mind off the munchies. Fold laundry, paint your nails or write down 100 things you’re grateful for.

3. Have a plan B

If a savory snack is your downfall, a handful of olives or a dill pickle can do the same for the taste buds as a bag of chips. Maybe sweets are your thing? Peanut butter and jam on a rice cake may be the substitution you’ve been waiting for!

4. Drink up

When a craving hits, it might not be hunger at all. It’s possible you’re thirsty. Take the time to down some water.

5. Hit the gym

Try this – when you’re next craving hits, tell yourself, “I’ll allow myself [insert cheat food here] after my workout.” Chances are good that once your endorphins get pumping, you’ll feel so good about your efforts in the gym, it will be like the craving never happened.

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