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Conquer junk food cravings

Easy ways to beat the five stagings of craving

ORLANDO, Fla.

There are five stages of grief, but who knew there are five stages of cravings? There’s arousal, increased attention, desire, then consumption and finally regret after the fact. However, the last two stages are completely avoidable, and here are some ways to help you with that.

Crunch, sizzle, pop. We are constantly surrounded by tempting junk foods. However, if you always feed that craving ...

“We are more likely to overeat. We are more likely to be at risk to gain weight and for heart disease,” said dietitian Lauren Ott.

So what can you do to resist the cravings? First, start a cravings journal. Write down the times of day you are craving those unhealthy snacks, what you are craving, your emotions at the time and what you ate before and how much. Notice if there are any patterns in the times you are craving them or any situation that may bring them on. Another tip: find a healthier alternative. If you are craving a sugar-filled soda, try a soda with low to no sugar. If you want a grilled cheese sandwich, make it on whole wheat bread with reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Finally, don’t deprive yourself. It can cause intense cravings that lead to overeating. It’s OK to indulge once and a while, but it’s all about portion control. Food cravings decreased when they were consumed less frequently and at smaller portion sizes.

Experts say another thing that can help reduce cravings is not to let yourself get too hungry. In states of extreme hunger people tend to crave quick-fix foods like candy or chips. Instead eat smaller meals throughout the day.