In times like today, when one is stressed, spends too much time home and is faced with instability, food craving may become more frequent. Fortunately, there are tips that can make managing food cravings easier.
1- Identify true hunger: When hungry only food satisfies, and one is open to eat healthy alternatives. However, other feelings may be confused as hunger such as tiredness, thirst or food craving. If you have eaten less than 3-4 hours ago, it is unlikely that you are hungry. Planning your meals and snacks is helpful.
2- Time/distance technique: This technique involves letting some time pass before deciding whether to indulge in what you are craving. For example, if you want to eat a cookie, postpone eating it for 30 minutes while doing something else such as calling a friend, cleaning the house or reading a book; then, after the set time comes, if you still have the craving eat mindfully, slowly and small amount.
3- Notice patterns- Notice if there are recurring patterns in your cravings such as time of the day, place, emotions, people, etc. The goal is to be aware of triggers and identify causes. For instance, if you are frequently have craving at the same time and it has been 3-4 hours from the previous meal, planning a healthy snack time could help. Know what works for you and be creative.
Take-Home Message: To manage food cravings reflect on why they arise, notice patterns and mindfully take action. Whatever you decide to do, practice self-control and patience, remembering you are in control.
Eating right and eating smart during COVID-19. (2020, March 23). UAB News. https://www.uab.edu/news/youcanuse/item/11193-eating-right-and-eating-smart-during-covid-19