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Sensible solutions to your daily cravings

July 9, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
From the 11 a.m. scone to the candy bar at 4, it is a fact that what your body is craving is all in your head.The experts that study such phenomena say there are ways to nip those cravings in the bud. Your taste buds, that is. Here are sensible yet satisfying solutions.

Health experts say we are hardwired to want sweet, fatty, and salty food stemming back from when food was scarce. Yet today's human doesn't suffer the same challenges. But still the cravings prevail. So know what you really want and when you want it to make a plan.

For late-night noshers, stock up on small portions of light versions of preferred foods. One-hundred-fifty-calorie Skinny Cow beats a pint of premium ice cream.

Late afternoon is a time when many suffer from low blood sugar. If lunch was light, have a snack with protein and produce, like fruit and cheese, to bring sugar levels back to normal.

If PMS rears its ugly head, it can mean that the feel-good brain chemical dopamine is plummeting, so eat small amounts of food more often, including healthy carbs to help stay even.

If you want to eat for no apparent reason, then watch the clock to wait it out. Experts say in 20 minutes a craving should diminish. If your body is still begging, then pop sugar-free gum to occupy both mind and mouth.

Eating something with peppermint also has merit. One study found those who sniffed peppermint throughout the day ate 3,000 calories less a week, which almost adds up to one pound.

Avoiding the food you crave is apparently not the answer. Experts found when test subjects gave up their favorite food -- chocolate -- it only made them want it more, and when the test was over, they ate twice as much chocolate as they normally consumed.

Rather than go cold turkey, cut portions in half and aim for just 150 calories of the must-have munchie.


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