Do you fight to stop cravings and struggle with healthy eating — even though you know it can cut your risk of heart disease and other illnesses in half — because you can’t stop yearning after not-so-good for-you foods? Find it next to impossible to pass up dessert? You’re in luck! These tricks can make kicking those cravings so easy, you won’t have to even think about it!
Turn on vegetable cravings with cumin
Adding 1/8 tsp. cumin to a healthy meal can increase your vegetable and lean protein intake 30 percent, suggests research in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. Cumin steadies your blood sugar by helping your muscles use that sugar for fuel — and when your blood sugar is steady, your desire for healthy foods like fruits and vegetables soars, explains lead researcher Aarti Jagtap, Ph.D.
End overeating with peanuts
Starting each meal with 14 peanuts or 1 Tbs. of natural peanut butter cuts your risk of overeating 50 percent, report University of Chicago doctors. Peanuts are rich in copper, manganese and molybdenum, minerals that rev your production of the appetite-taming hormone glucagon.
Crush sugar cravings with sweet gargles
The taste of lightly sweetened water can end a sugar craving in as little as three minutes, reveals University of Georgia research. Turns out, that touch of sweet flavor stimulates your brain’s frontal lobe, the area that helps you stick to healthy goals and avoid temptations. To do: Mix 1 tsp. sugar into 8 oz. water, then swish and spit whenever a craving crops up. Wait one minute, then rinse with plain water to prevent cavities.
Halt hunger pangs with hot sauce
If you often feel hungry after eating a meal that should have filled you up, try adding a touch of spicy heat — or other strong flavors, such as lemon juice, grated ginger, turmeric or freshly ground black pepper— to your food. Dutch researchers recently discovered that strong tastes energize the hypothalamus, the region of your brain that tells you, “I’m full!”
Shut down carb cravings with sleep
If the sight of fluffy donuts, fresh bread or pasta makes your mouth water, ridding yourself of those cravings could be as easy as sleeping an extra 30 minutes nightly, reports the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. More than nine in 10 of us have fewer carb cravings—and better appetite control overall—when we’re well-rested. Why? Sleep increases your brain’s production of the appetite-taming hormone serotonin, explains study coauthor Scott Harding, Ph.D.