No matter what healthy eating tactics you try, sometimes a craving for junk just creeps up on you out of the blue.
If you can practically set your watch by that 3pm hankering for chocolate, maybe it's time to take control. Here are five common mistakes to avoid if you're trying to curb those cravings once and for all…
1. You skip breakfast
Yup, your mum was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, full stop. A protein-filled morning meal will not only set you up mentally and physically for the day, but it'll also reduce cravings as the afternoon goes on. Scrambled eggs and brown toast or porridge with a spoon of peanut butter are both great protein-packed brekkie options that will satisfy you for the day ahead.
2. You over-indulge
Sometimes, there's just no avoiding that junk food craving. So, who cares, you're going to eat that Dairy Milk/cake/brownie and you're going to enjoy it. But rather than inhaling the whole thing, try savouring just a small amount instead, then putting the rest away and waiting for at least fifteen minutes. You'll most likely find that a small amount was just enough.
3. You eat nothing when you get a craving
If a sugar or salt craving is your body's way of telling you it needs fuel, don't just ignore it! Substitute high-fat foods with a healthy alternative like fruit or nuts – a snack that will satisfy you and distract your brain from its "I need Doritos" campaign.
4. You guilt yourself afterwards
Okay, you ate a biscuit. Or, all of the biscuits. Rather than shaming yourself for giving in, just accept the fact that you ate something tasty and you enjoyed it. By linking "bad" foods to guilt in our brain, we become less able to cope with and overcome cravings for those foods.
5. You keep temptation nearby
If there's a bag of crisps or a box of Celebrations sitting within arm's reach, you're probably going to find yourself mindlessly indulging. So keep healthy snacks nearby instead, and remove temptation from your cupboards at home. After all, if those chocolate HobNobs aren't there, you can't eat them!