From one last cigarette to another cheeky biscuit, cravings can sneak up and take hold at any time – so we’re sharing some strategies to help you curb your yearnings and stick to your plan.
Life is full of lots of little temptations and in a culture where most of these can be satisfied in moments, it can take a lot of willpower to say no. The next time you’re struggling with a craving to indulge in a behaviour you know you shouldn’t, give one of the following strategies a try.
Shake up your routine
Once you get into bad habits, it can be very difficult to break out of them unless you allow yourself a fresh playing field. If there’s a certain time of day you normally indulge your vices, make sure you’re doing something else instead – that way, it’s much easier for you to break the association.
Create short-term goals
By making big plans to change the way you live, you might actually be setting yourself up for failure. Break your goals down into smaller, more achievable chunks and set short term targets that will be much easier to meet. For example, ‘no biscuits before the weekend’ is much easier to face than ‘no biscuits until Christmas’!
Stretch your legs
Physical activity is an excellent way to take your mind off whatever it is you’re craving. A short walk, 10 minutes on an exercise bike or a run through of your favourite yoga poses could be all it takes to change your mind-set and eliminate those cravings.
Introduce healthy substitutes
One great way to stop yourself from reaching for a packet of cigarettes or starting another chocolate bar is to make sure you’ve got lots of healthy alternatives to handy. From grapes and carrot sticks to nuts or even sugar free chewing gum, give your hands and mouth something else to focus on and you’re much less likely to cave.
Learn how to de-stress
Many of our worst cravings are for the things we use as an emotional crutch. Learn how to de-stress and let go of negative feelings and you’ll find it much easier to cut down on your caffeine, sugar or nicotine intake. From meditation and mindfulness to yoga or Pilates, there are lots of ways to take control of your emotions.
Take a dip
If a craving is really getting on top of you, put yourself in a position where you won’t be able to give in to it. Have a bath, take a shower or even set off for a swim at your local pool – by the time you’ve dried off, the intensity of your yearning is sure to have worn off.
What’s your secret to curbing cravings?