When you hear about cravings, it’s normally in relation to pregnant women. However, most people experience cravings at one time or another.

The trick is learning how to beat unhealthy cravings so you don’t add unneeded weight and bad eating habits to the mix. Read on for 9 ways to help you beat those cravings.

* The best way to avoid unhealthy cravings is to ensure you’re eating healthy foods throughout the day, beginning with breakfast. Be sure to eat some protein first thing in the morning along with some complex carbohydrates and fruit. Eating a good breakfast each day will help you remain full until lunch and help curb unhealthy cravings.

* Many unhealthy food cravings are caused because your blood sugar level changes throughout the day after eating a good breakfast. Have a piece of fruit or another healthy snack between breakfast and lunch if you feel yourself getting hungry. In fact, having access to smart snacks like fruit, low-fat or fat-free yogurt, nuts, vegetable sticks or whole wheat crackers will help you avoid the unhealthy choices.

* Eat six small meals per day rather than three larger ones. Eating more often will keep your blood sugar more level, which means you shouldn’t have the cravings. Having regular small meals will also provide the energy you need to get through the day.

* You may be surprised to know that dehydration can cause unhealthy food cravings. You may think you’re hungry when in fact your body needs fluids. Drink about two liters of water each day to keep yourself hydrated and less likely to mistake thirst for hunger.

* Stay busy as much as possible. More often than not you get the worst cravings when you’re watching television or otherwise being sedentary. If you keep your hands busy you won’t have time to think about food. Write a letter to a loved one, take up crocheting or start a new craft to beat unhealthy cravings.

* Another thing you can do which will nip unhealthy cravings in the bud is exercise. Not only does exercise keep you busy, it raises your metabolism which burns calories. Exercise also releases hormones which help control appetite. If you aren’t hungry you won’t reach for unhealthy foods.

* Substitute healthier foods for the unhealthy foods you’d like to eat. If you’re craving something crunchy, why not try celery sticks? Choose low-fat frozen yogurt or sorbet when you want a bowl of ice cream. Have a serving of sweet fruit rather than a candy bar if your sweet tooth is making itself known.

* Brush your teeth or use mouthwash when you begin feeling the pang of cravings. You will be less likely to eat because you’ve just cleaned your mouth. Your craving for sweets will also be lessened in a very short time.

* If worse comes to worse and you can’t beat the craving, give in but in moderation. Allow yourself to eat one measured serving of the food you want. Just don’t go overboard with it. Instead of eating an entire bag of potato chips, choose a single serving size.

The above tips to beat unhealthy cravings can be used by anyone who yearns for foods which may not be the best for them. You can avoid giving in to your cravings if you’re serious about getting fit, healthy and lean. Now that you have the tools, wait and see what you can achieve!

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