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June 16, 2015 | by

How to Handle Food Cravings

Continuing with our series of blog posts about healthy eating as a contributing factor to your overall health, today we talk about food cravings.

Food cravings are hard to resist, but there are some surprising techniques that can help you manage your cravings, according to psychologist Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. in an article found on Q.

The best way to deal with cravings is by waiting for them to pass, but it’s not the end of the world if you give in. There are a few tips to help you out, and prevent future occurrences if you do indulge:

First, it’s okay to give in, as long as it’s done mindfully. People usually “check out” when they give in to cravings. Taking the time to pay attention to the taste and texture of the food that you are craving can prevent overindulgence.

It’s also a good idea to note how you feel afterward, to see if your indulgence has achieved your desired result. Research indicates that you might feel worse after eating snacks, like chocolate, rather than healthier choices. Comparing the results of your indulgence vs. the expected outcome will reduce the chances that you will give in, in the future.

If you do give in, you are better off forgiving yourself, rather than wallowing in regret. Focusing on punishing yourself doesn’t leave much energy for change.

Some personality types thrive by being tough on themselves, but this only works when you’re not struggling or suffering. Piling on the criticism after a setback can prevent you from taking action to prevent it from reoccurring. Motivation does not come guilt and shame. Understanding and forgiving yourself can “unleash your power.”

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