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Originally published May 30 2008

How to Cope With Food Cravings

by Sheryl Walters

(NaturalNews) Strong cravings for starchy, sugary foods often go hand in hand with being overweight, chronically tired, feeling blue or other symptoms of ill health. They can be the result of out of whack blood sugar levels, Candida (yeast overgrowth), and adrenal fatigue. These imbalances can potentially cause disease, premature aging, and us to feel far less than our most fabulous selves.

Fortunately, there are some great ways to overcome your cravings. Here are some tricks that will keep you from longing for that cake and desperate for that large packet of potato chips.

Avoid your cravings for 2 weeks

"You crave what you eat, so if you switch what you're eating, you can weaken your old cravings and strengthen new ones," says Marcia Pelchat, PhD, of the Monell Center.

Research shows that even after 5 days you will find that your body will yearn for your trigger foods far less, and after two weeks the cravings are nearly gone.

On a physical level, your blood sugar will begin to balance out, so your body won't be crying out for foods that it falsely thinks will balance things out. On an emotional level, you will know that it is possible to live without those foods, and you will most likely notice some improvement in your wellbeing, which will keep you motivated.

Get Active

Most food addicts say that exercising and eating healthy coexist. Exercising makes you want to eat healthy. Physically, exercise balances the body so we are less likely to lust for the foods that aren't good for us.

Find ways to relieve stress

Stress can trigger your cravings. Finding ways to deal with stress is essential for every aspect of our wellbeing.

There are thousands of ways to manage stress; you just have to find what works for you. Walking, affirmations, meditation, yoga, talking to friends, deep breathing, visualisation, and listening to music are just some of the most powerful stress relievers.

Keep your House a Craving Free Zone

If you have the foods that you pine for in your house, you will make your cravings even stronger. It is much easier to resist something that is at a shop than it is to resist something that is within your reach.

If you have something in the house that is making you crazy, destroy it. "Don't just throw it away; run water over it, ruin it. You'll feel a sense of accomplishment that you've licked your binge," says Caroline Apovian, MD, director, Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center.

Get Nuts for Nuts

I find that when I start dreaming of a piece of toast (one of my favorite foods to long for), I eat almonds or walnuts. They fill me up and seem to balance out my blood sugar levels. Both of these nuts are packed with good fats and nutrients.

Have Plenty of Treats Around

If you are devoted to sweet things, make sure you have plenty around. There are many healthy sugar alternatives that won't cause cancer (as some alternatives have been found to), and won't send your blood sugar levels through the roof. Discover some of them here, and get baking!

Raw chocolate, for example, is now being hailed as one of the healthiest foods on the planet! Or make some Healthy Smoothie Recipes as a treat.

Distract yourself

"Cravings typically last ten minutes," says John Foreyt, PhD, of Baylor College of Medicine. If you know you have ten minutes to kill, run an errand, put on two of your favorite songs, go for a walk, or call a friend.

Have a Plan

One thing that will make the foods you dream of even more irresistible is if you don't have a plan. You need to know what you are going to eat. Buy recipe books or go online to discover new foods to help you through your mourning period.

When you leave the house, make sure you have plenty of foods with you that will deliver you from temptation if you become hungry, or if you are going to a party.

Get Excited

Know why you want to nip your cravings in the bud. This is the most essential path to changing your diet. Perhaps you know that unhealthy eating is going to affect your health. Maybe you want more energy, maybe you want to feel happier, perhaps you want to lose weight. When your reason for giving up foods exceeds your craving, it becomes easy.

About the author

Sheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner.
Her website provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous. You can also find some of the most powerful super foods on the planet including raw chocolate, purple corn, and many others.

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