Skipping meals and choosing the wrong snacks can create out-of-control cravings. Here's how to stop them.By: The Editors of Prevention
"Hunger is a physical cue that you need energy," says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD. It can be your best diet ally; if you listen to your body, you'll instinctively feed it the right amount. But fall out of touch, and hunger becomes diet enemy number one: You may eat more than you need or get too hungry and stoke out-of-control cravings.
Break these bad habits to keep hunger in check.
Solution: Zap a packet of instant oatmeal with low-fat milk as soon as you wake up. Take bites between showering, dressing, and putting on makeup. Bring an apple or banana to eat in the car.
Solution: Dig into your glove compartment for the high-fiber, protein-packed bar you stash there for such emergencies. When you get home, eat a lighter-than-normal lunch to compensate for the extra calories.
Solution: Keep a supply of single-serving packages of nuts and dried fruit in your desk and plan to munch a few hours after lunch—when you feel moderate hunger.
Solution: Have a 150- to 200-calorie snack such as yogurt with some fruit or celery and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter a couple of hours before your dinner.
Solution: Grab a fiber-filled piece of low-calorie fruit such as a juicy apple or pear instead of, or at least before, diving into the cookie jar.
Better yet, go to bed—you're probably more tired than hungry, anyway. Recent studies of middle-age women found that those who slept 5 or fewer hours were 32% more likely to experience major weight gain, and 15% more likely to become obese, than those who slept an average of 7 hours. So go grab some shut-eye!
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