Yes, You Can Reboot Your Eating Habits

Driven by a powerful chemical cocktail stimulated by emotions and the environment, cravings are a complex business, but you don’t have to be a victim. Here are a few ways to beat back the desire for unhealthy treats. 

1. Change your surroundings. Cravings are often triggered by environmental factors. Sometimes, just going for a walk, or engaging in a task, especially visual ones, can help shift your focus. 

2. Fill up on protein. Cravings and hunger are different things, but being full can take your mind off food. A protein rich breakfast may be effective in staving off mid-morning cravings. 

3. Turn up the heat. Spicy foods activate dopamine, the same pleasure-emitting neurotransmitter that your cravings seek to set off, while turning off the hormone gherlin, which stimulates hunger and turns on GLP-1, the hormone that puts hunger to rest 

4. Put your cravings on hold. Telling yourself that you can indulge later, kind of like saying that you’ll organize you’ll cupboards later, has been shown to be an effective way of never actually getting around to it. 

5. Try aromatherapy. Some researchers say that certain scents, specifically jasmine and vanilla, can suppress cravings for sweets.  

6. Cut yourself a break. Go ahead and eat the cake, have a brownie, or a dish of ice cream. Life is too short to give up all the temporal pleasures. Just don’t go overboard and don’t beat yourself up when you’re done.