Junk food cravings can be tough to resist, especially if you’re feeling bored or a bit down. For many people, eating is an emotional activity that’s used to deal with difficult situations or feelings. We often think we’re hungry when what we’re actually looking for is a distraction.
The good news is there are healthier ways to provide that distraction than feeding the body sugary or processed junk. Here are 7 healthful activities that can replace eating when those cravings rear their ugly head:
1 – Paint your nails
Painting your nails is an effective and practical alternative to mindless snacking. It requires focus and concentration to do it neatly which distracts the brain from its other thoughts of hunger. It’s also impossible to snack while you’re waiting for your nail polish to dry since you’ll get crumbs stuck on them or damage the smooth finish. This means you physically can’t eat for a couple of hours after painting them which gives you a snack-free window. Plus, you’ll be left with a stylish manicure to boot!
2 – Do a mini spring clean
This might not be for everyone but doing a mini spring clean can be the ideal food distraction, plus it’s productive too! Clearing out your wardrobe, reorganising your food cupboards, or sorting out your junk drawer can be a weirdly satisfying experience. Bringing order to a messy room or ticking off a job that’s been on your to-do list for ages will give you a huge sense of achievement. Best of all, it keeps your hands and mind busy so you can’t reach for junk food or snack mindlessly. Plus, research shows that people with clean houses tend to be healthier than those with messy homes so it really can improve your physical and mental health.
3 – Go for a walk
Getting out of the house is a great distraction from junk food cravings. It removes the tempting environment of kitchen cupboards packed with delicious treats which prevents you from eating absentmindedly. Take a brisk walk to your local park or somewhere you can be surrounded by nature. Studies have shown this alone can reduce cravings for sugary snacks. If you don’t have access to greenery nearby, take a walk around your area and make a point of noticing your surroundings. Look at the architecture of the buildings or explore side-streets that you haven’t been down before. This will help to focus your thoughts and switch your attention away from food.
4 – Brush your teeth
If you’re craving junk food then brushing your teeth can be a surprisingly powerful antidote (especially in the evening). Sometimes the reason we want something else to eat, such as a dessert, is because we want to remove a taste from our mouth. Meals with garlic or spices in particular can leave a strong aftertaste that triggers a response to seek out new flavours. Brushing your teeth can remove this feeling and also signal to your body that it shouldn’t expect any more food. It’ll also make the idea of snacks less appealing since toothpaste reacts with many flavors unpleasantly.
5 – Plan a trip
Planning a trip can be an exciting and motivating distraction from unhealthy cravings. Researching holiday destinations or weekend road trips can quickly absorb you, especially once you start looking at transport options, accommodation reviews, and different activities you can do along the way. Holidays are often the catalyst for weight loss or a deadline that we work towards which can provide extra motivation to eat healthily (even if we don’t feel like it). Even if you don’t have the money to actually book one right now, planning a trip for the future can provide several hours of distraction.
6 – Try a yoga session
The popularity of yoga has exploded in recent years with more and more gyms and boutique studios offering a range of classes. But it’s not just the physical benefits that have people hooked, part of its appeal is the way it clears your mind. Yoga requires 100% focus to coordinate movements and maintain balance during poses, which leaves zero room for thoughts about hunger. It can also calm the mind so that you feel less stressed or anxious which are both common triggers for emotional eating. Next time you get cravings for junk food, search YouTube for yoga videos and try a session in the comfort of your own home.
7 – Get crafty
Most of us are into arts and crafts as children but relatively few continue into adulthood. But if you’re feeling tempted to reach for the junk cupboard, getting crafty can be the perfect distraction. Whether it’s attempting a grown-up coloring book, repainting an old piece of furniture, or a textile-related hobby, crafts are all-absorbing. They require complete concentration (especially if they’re fiddly to do) so there’s no mental bandwidth to think about hunger. Just stay away from cupcake decoration – that one’s definitely going to lead to cravings that are impossible to resist!
Alternative activities that displace junk food cravings
Distracting yourself with these activities will help you to resist junk food cravings and stick to your healthy habits. It’ll also build up your willpower as you prove to yourself that you can overcome temptations and don’t have to give in to unhealthy urges. If you want some extra help to fight junk food cravings, PhenQ can definitely help. It makes calorie-cutting easy by curbing your appetite so that over-eating and hunger cravings become a thing of the past.
It contains chromium picolinate which has been shown to help curb your sugar and carb cravings by helping your body control your blood-sugar levels. The combination of caffeine and nopal also suppress your appetite so that losing weight is much easier. Take a look at the other benefits of PhenQ here.
How do you distract yourself from junk food cravings? We’d love to hear about your methods in the comments below!
Recommended reading: Guide To Sweetening Food Without Sugar