Take a walk
iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund
Research has shown that exercise reduces the urge for chocolate in normal weight people. One study published in 2015 in PLoS One found that walking briskly for 15 minutes reduced cravings for sugary snacks in overweight people.
Consider the consequences
A 2014 study from researchers at Brown University had participants use four different strategies to overcome the urge to eat: distract themselves by thinking about something other than food; accept their thoughts as something that need not be acted upon; focus on immediate reward of the food; or focus on negative long-term consequences of eating the food. The last approach reduced participants’ cravings the most. If you’re dieting, here are 6 ways to curb pesky cravings without skipping a meal.
Imagine yourself eating
iStock/Sjoerd van der Wal
If you do give in to the urge to eat, a bit of imagination before digging in can help satisfy your craving sooner, according to a review of studies published in 2016 in Social and Personality Psychology Compass. Researchers had participants imagine putting quarters in a laundry machine or eating M&Ms before eating the candies in real life. Those who imagined eating 30 M&Ms and inserting quarters three times ate significantly fewer chocolates than those who imagined adding 30 quarters and eating three M&Ms, or just putting 33 quarters in the machine. The researchers guess that imagining yourself chowing down makes you feel like you’ve already eaten, so you’ll be able to stop eating sooner. You could even whip up one of these delicious treats dietitians eat to beat their sugar cravings.