Four strategies to cope with a food craving

(HealthDay)—Sticking with a diet starts with having a plan that maps out meals and snacks based on foods that help you feel full longer. After all, if you feel satisfied, you’ll be less likely to rummage through your kitchen cabinets looking for treats.

But sometimes cravings can get the better of you. You might be tempted by the whiff of a bakery as you walk to work, want something sweet to cheer you up when you’re down, or just reach for food because you’re bored. The answer is to create a strategy for dealing with a craving as soon as you feel one coming on.

Pick a time when you’re not hungry (perhaps right after a meal) to plan how you’ll cope with a craving. Write down actions that you can take that fit with your lifestyle. This way, you’ll enjoy the alternative course of action rather than feeling like you’re punishing yourself. Your “best” action might be doing a crossword, picking up a crochet project or turning on dance music.

What if you feel a craving this very second? Here are four things you can do right now: