Constant food cravings can wreak havoc with the best laid-out weight-loss plans. Ms Teo Soo Lay, Senior Dietitian, Department of Dietetics, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group, offers some tips to help you resist your craving for sweet or salty foods.
– Tell yourself “I don’t” rather than “I can’t” if you crave certain foods. This will give you a feeling of control and empowerment over what you eat.
– Set a daily quota of calories for yourself and keep a food journal, recording the number of calories you consume every day. If the food you are craving exceeds your daily quota of calories, you have a good reason to say no to it.
– Allow yourself to eat the foods you crave without feeling guilty. Just eat them less often rather than more often. Control portions and enjoy a small piece of chocolate instead of the whole bar.
– Substitute the food you crave with a healthier version of the same food, in a sensible portion.
– Get absorbed in a non-food related activity you enjoy until the craving goes away. Cravings usually diminish over time.
– To cope with cravings that kick in at the same time every day, for instance a desire for chocolate after dinner, you need to have a strategy in place. You can either satisfy yourself with a healthier “dessert” or distract yourself with an activity you enjoy, such as watching television or going for a walk after dinner.
Reproduced with permission from SingHealth’s Health Xchange, Singapore’s first interactive health and lifestyle resource portal. For more information, visit www.healthxchange.com.sg.