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How To Transform Cravings Into Healthy Habits

04.08.2016

Research has shown that those who have a higher level of self-control are happier, healthier and more productive.

You are sat in the office and 3pm rolls around; you reach for your change and head to the vending machine for your favourite chocolate bar. Or perhaps you are in the car for a few hours, it’s boring and dull, snacking on your favourite crisps will make it go by far more quickly. Maybe you’ve had your dinner and settled down in front of the television for the evening with a bowl of sweet treats.

We expect at least one of the above sounds relatable?

Cravings hit us at different points in the day and for different reasons. It has been shown that 75% of us eat simply to satisfy the craving, 64% eat to improve their mood, 53% reach for their favourite treat as a form of reward and 44% give into their craving to reduce stress levels. We all have different lifestyles and different emotions that make us inclined to crave sweet, salty or fatty foods. 

If we told you not to think about your favourite sweet treat – the likelihood is you’re picturing it as you read this!

So trying to avoid thinking about it has the opposite of the desired affect – but what about imagining that you are eating it? Really imagine it. Repeat the process in your head, taste it, chew it, and swallow it. Repeating this up to 30 times will likely reduce your interest in the food – just like actually eating something for an extended period of time (the 10th bite of chocolate is never quite as satisfying as the 1st)!

Why are cravings so difficult to resist? According to Professor Morewedge of Boston University, cravings are linked to positive memories. When we eat foods we like, the positive feelings are stored away, and are reinforced each day we reach for that food item. Denying yourself these feelings is an unnaturally challenging process to comprehend which can be triggers by a number of senses such as sight, smell and touch.

Cravings are deeply embedded within us, but can be replaced by healthy habits. We have a range of healthy snack ideas for different scenarios:

  • Hitting that afternoon slump and see the vending machine in the corner of your eye? Reach for your ready prepared unsalted nuts and seeds instead. These will help you over the afternoon slump far more effectively and for longer than any processed snacks. 
  • If you’re in the car, have a couple of piece of fresh fruit to hand. Filled with natural sugars that will give you that lift you need, it will also fill you up due to the fibre content.
  • Sitting in front of the TV mindlessly munching away is common practice in many households. Have some chopped veg to hand to nibble on such as carrot sticks, sliced pepper, celery or cucumber. The crunchiness will make it super satisfying!

 

Having a healthy habit in place will make self-control far easier. 

 

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How can our Power Up & Motivate With Positive Nutrition Series boost the energy and engagement in your workplace? For an informal conversation please call Anna on 07778 218009.



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