If you’re trying to lose weight, or just trying not to gain, try these tips the next time you are feeling that urge to chew.
- Drink water. Often, we think we’re hungry when we’re really just thirsty. The first step to stopping a craving should be downing a full glass of water. Quench your thirst, and it’s likely the cravings will stop.
- Chew gum. Pop a piece of sugar-free gum to keep from obsessing over the taste of your favorite indulgence. Chewing will keep you distracted, and you’ll be less likely to overeat with minty-fresh breath.
- Brush your teeth. Sounds dubious, but I find if you brush your teeth you no longer want to “dirty it up” right away with food. (Hey, works for me.)
- Find a distraction. When you’re at home or sitting at your desk, it can be tempting to eat out of boredom, not hunger. Every time you’re about to open the fridge because you have nothing else to do, be ready with your go-to distraction. You can call your diet buddy for support, go for a brisk walk around the block, or pick up a book — whatever it takes to divert your focus from food. (I find that the television works against you. Too many enticing food commercials. And stay off the Food Network!)
- Snack on these. I keep a bowl of raw carrots handy during the day. You might prefer broccoli or cauliflower—even celery. These are so low in calories (and so good for you) that you don’t have to worry about eating too much, plus they satisfy that urge to chew. (Carrots are sweet enough to actually knock a candy craving.)
- Take three polite bites. If all else fails, and it’s something you really want, employ a three bite rule: Take three reasonably sized bites, which should be enough to satisfy your taste buds, and then put your fork down.
And don’t beat yourself up if you slip. Just acknowledge it and vow to do better. Tell yourself to do better and you will.
© Wade Kingston