Halloween is only a few days away – will you be able to stop yourself from reaching for the sweet treats? Here’s a dose of reality that might have some effect on you: Studies show that people gain 2.5 kg or more during the holidays, and that they hold onto that weight…
Though the “holiday season” typically applies to the festive season, many people start indulging when the pumpkins come out – and don’t stop until the 1st of January! So, allow me to become the voice of reason right now: Those few minutes of sugary, gooey bliss aren’t worth the inevitable toll on your health, waistline and sanity.
These unique battle-tested tips will help you crush your cravings and avoid holiday weight gain!
Ten effective ways to curb your chocolate cravings
#1: Keep the enemy out of the house!
This is rule number one. Know your enemy, which is chocolate in this case, and keep it out of your house, car, glove compartment, desk and anywhere else it will be a temptation.
#2: Pinch your nose or earlobes for ten seconds
This is an ancient acupuncture secret. Acupuncturists believe that pressure points restore balance in your energy, as imbalances and blockage of energy cause cravings.
#3: Use brighter bulbs in your dining room
Dim lights lower your inhibitions and let you feel better about eating more. 100 watt bulbs work well – just be sure your fixtures can handle them.
#4: Add vinegar to your diet
Apple cider or organic red wine fit the bill. Vinegar improves digestion by keeping food in your stomach longer, reducing the hunger hormone known as ghrelin. The result? You’ll feel fuller for longer!
#5: Up your magnesium levels
Intense chocolate cravings can be signs of magnesium deficiency. Eat more leafy green vegetables – they’re packed with this mineral. Otherwise, consider a magnesium supplement.
#6: Light a vanilla-scented candle
There’s a theory that the scent of vanilla reduces sugar and chocolate cravings, as immersing yourself in a scent all day will desensitise you. Reader’s Digest called it the “Christmas Dinner Syndrome” – when the person who’s been cooking doesn’t eat as much as their guests because they’ve been smelling dinner all day.
#7: Brush your teeth
Minty toothpaste cleanses your palate and will kill the taste of anything you crave. You’re fat less likely to snack if you’ve just brushed your teeth – anything you try will taste awful!
#8: Cut out sweeteners in your coffee
Sweeteners spike your insulin levels, which leave you with a huge drop later, causing you to crave more. If you must use a sweetener, try stevia.
#9: Eat balanced meals
You have cravings when you’re malnourished or stressed. If you’re nutritionally satisfied, your less likely to suffer intense cravings in the first place. Eat protein with every meal, and you’ll find yourself craving less unhealthy stuff throughout the day.
#10: Wait ten minutes
All – yes, all – cravings pass. If you can distract yourself for 10-15 minutes with a short burst of exercise, you’ll burn calories and release some endorphins while forgetting about that chocolaty treat! Try a brisk walk around the block, do 20 push-ups, or climb a few flights of stairs.
Here’s to a slimmer waistline this holiday season!