How To Finally Say “Heck No!” To Potato Chips & Ice Cream [New Study]

By Sarah Fletcher | 30 July 2021 1753 views
how to avoid cravings

5 Easy Ways to Finally Say No to Unhealthy Cravings & Lose Weight

How To Finally Say “Heck No!” To Potato Chips & Ice Cream [New Study]

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Cravings are one of the main culprits of obesity and eating disorders.

Learning how to overcome them is an important step in your weight loss journey. It will also be good for your mental health… because you won’t experience the feelings of guilt and low self-esteem associated with satisfying cravings. 

You might think that not giving in to cravings just requires sheer willpower. But here’s some good news: you don’t have to rely on willpower alone.

You can make it a lot easier for yourself by creating an environment in which you’ll be less likely to give in to cravings.

How To Finally Say “Heck No!” To Potato Chips & Ice Cream [New Study]

How Distraction & Stress Are Related

How does your environment affect whether or not you give in to cravings?

It turns out that you’re more likely to satisfy your urges when you’re tired, stressed, and distracted, according to a recent study. Being in this state of mind weakens your brain’s capacity to ward off cravings and avoid temptation.

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In the study, the participants had to look at a screen containing various shapes. They were told that they would earn money if they focused on a certain diamond shape… but wouldn’t earn anything if they were distracted by a certain colorful circle.

The researchers ran two versions of the experiment: one normal version, and one in which the participants had to memorize sequences of numbers before looking at the screen.

In the second version, the participants looked at the colorful circle 50% of the time. Because they were stretched thin and distracted by multiple tasks… their ability to ignore unwanted signals in their environment was suppressed.

This extends to cravings. You’re most likely to give in to cravings when you’re really stressed out… distracted… multitasking… or tired. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

How To Finally Say “Heck No!” To Potato Chips & Ice Cream [New Study]

Dopamine & The Tetris Effect

We all feel cravings because humans are wired to seek after rewards. The chemical responsible for regulating this – and responsible for most cravings and addictions – is dopamine.

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Eating another slice of pizza or chugging down a can of soda gives you a dopamine spike. So does smoking or doing heroin.

One way to combat addictions of all kinds is to find healthier ways of giving yourself that dopamine spike that your brain is looking for. This will both quiet your cravings and wean you off of unhealthy habits.

A classic example of this is playing games or sports, which are very reward-based. Chasing after that level-up badge or that winning streak gives you a dopamine spike.

This can distract you from unhealthy cravings.

A 2015 study involving 31 undergraduates found that playing Tetris for as little as three minutes at a time could reduce cravings for things such as food and drugs by about one-fifth.

Moreover, the effects lasted for the weeklong duration of the study. This is significant because the effects of playing Tetris remained significant… even when the game was no longer new and exciting.

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The visual factor is also important. Cravings are usually accompanied by visuals in your imagination, so engaging in visual activities can take your mind off of cravings.

How To Finally Say “Heck No!” To Potato Chips & Ice Cream [New Study]

5 Easy Ways To Beat Unhealthy Cravings

Here are some practical tips on how to apply this new research in your own life. 

1) Take a look at your schedule and identify when you’ll be the most stressed or tired. Then ensure that you don’t have access to unhealthy food during that time.

For instance, when you’re driving home after a long day at work, avoid taking a route with fast food stops along the way.

2) Practice mindfulness or meditation. Meditating for 5-10 minutes each morning will put you in a healthier state of mind and will reduce your stress… making you less likely to give in to cravings.

Practicing mindfulness has been shown to aid in recovering from drug addiction. It can help you overcome cravings as well.

3) Find meaningful activities with a clear skill progression, which will satisfy your reward system.

One example of this is martial arts. In karate, for instance, you start with a white belt and gradually level up until you’re awarded the black belt.

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4) Look at stimulating images. Activities with a strong visual component are especially effective in fighting cravings. This could take the form of board games, going to a museum, or spending time in nature.

5) Get enough sleep. This is a really important factor. Getting enough sleep will minimize the stress you experience the next day and will make you better able to resist cravings.

 

how to avoid cravings

How Sleep Helps You Avoid Cravings AND Lose More Weight

The reason sleep is so crucial for avoiding cravings? 

It has EVERYTHING to do with your hormones.

For example, when you don’t get enough sleep…

Your body starts to build up the stress hormone cortisol.

And cortisol forces your brain into a “fight or flight” response… where anxiety builds…

And you’re more worried about taking in calories than anything else.

Hence, our cravings.

So make sure you get 7-8 hours of sleep at night to lower your cortisol levels and naturally lose weight.

However… if you want to lose weight even faster…

There are 3 simple things you can do before bedtime that naturally trigger your body’s “fat burning mechanism”…

And best of all, none of them have anything to do with exercise!

Here’s what they are and how to burn more fat while sleeping as soon as tonight:

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