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Put A Stop To Cravings!

People living with diabetes often think they have to ban all unhealthy foods. Yet, dealing with your cravings, rather than trying to eliminate them, is the best way to prevent possibly damaging binges.

Defuse high-calorie bombs. Bored? Stressed? Cravings often arise in response to a psychological need. Outsmart them: dive into a novel, or go for a walk or run.

Self-indulgence or true hunger? All you had for lunch was a green salad? It’s no surprise that your stomach is growling! Add some fibre and protein to your meals, and make sure to eat a good breakfast.

Sleep and forget your hunger. When you skimp on sleep, the brain triggers the production of hunger-related hormones. And, the later you stay up, the more the body seeks to stockpile energy to sustain you until your next meal.

Drink more. Thirst can also give you the impression that you’re hungry. Keep a glass of water within reach, and get up regularly to fill it up. This will lead to two good habits: drinking more water AND spending less time sitting.

Get moving! Aerobic exercise improves blood and oxygen flow to the brain, particularly to the prefrontal cortex, which promotes better self-control. Research shows that the less active this brain area is, the more attracted we are to fatty and sugary foods. Strength training and yoga may also be positive reinforcements in this case.

Zero tolerance?

A diabetes diagnosis often sparks a crusade against sugar and calories. Thrown off, the body responds with cravings. Having the occasional treat is a way to avoid devouring an entire bag of chips out of frustration on a Saturday night after depriving yourself all week.

A tip for eating in moderation: postponing what you could eat now for later. According to a study, telling yourself “maybe later” rather than completely banning a food helps you better handle your cravings. Not only did study participants succeed in resisting cravings in the moment, but they also reduced their consumption of that food in the week following the experiment.

Therefore, the key is to feel free to choose what you eat and to not feel obligated to deprive yourself.

References:
Charlotte Hilton Andersen, “These Two Little Words Can Stop Cravings,” Shape Magazine: http://www.shape.com/weight-loss/management/these-two-little-words-can-stop-cravings. Accessed January 25, 2016.
Coleen Oakley, “Confessions of a Borderline Binge Eater,” Fitness Magazine: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/weight-loss/eating-help/control-cravings/confessions-of-a-borderline-binger/. Accessed January 25, 2016.
Isabel Burton, “Fight food cravings without going crazy,” Shape Magazine: http://www.shape.com/weight-loss/tips-plans/fight-food-cravings-without-going-crazy. Accessed January 25, 2016.
Joslin Diabetes Center, “5 common Food Myths for People with Diabetes Debunked”: https://www.joslin.org/info/5_common_food_myths_for_people_with_diabetes_debunked.html. Accessed January 25, 2016.
Joslin Diabetes Center, “Food ‘Cravings’ and Diabetes”: http://www.joslin.org/info/food_cravings_and_diabetes.html. Accessed January 22, 2016.
Nicole L. Mead and Vanessa M. Patrick, “The taming of desire: Unspecific postponement reduces desire for and consumption of postponed temptations,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 110, 1 (January 2016), p. 20–35.
Rachel Schultz, “How Running Can Curb Your Cravings,” Shape Magazine: http://www.shape.com/blogs/working-it-out/how-running-can-curb-your-cravings. Accessed January 25, 2016.
Virginia Sole-Smith, “Control Your Cravings for Good,” Fitness Magazine: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/weight-loss/eating-help/control-cravings/how-to-control-cravings/?socsrc=_20151124010000. Accessed January 25, 2016.
10 secrets for Ending Your Sugar Cravings For Good, Body Ecology: http://bodyecology.com/articles/10-secrets-for-ending-sugar-cravings.php. Accessed December 7, 2016.

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