Break Up With Your Cravings

Research says mindfulness and memory can help you break unhealthy food cravings.

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Are cravings due to nature or nurture? According to researchers, they’re a little bit of both.

For example, maybe you always crave pizza on Fridays because when you were growing up, Friday was pizza night — it was the end of the week and everyone was relaxed and happy. Therefore, pizza, Friday and good feelings were lumped together.

The good news is that if you can uncouple the food from the feels, you can dissipate your cravings, according to Martin Binks, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the Nutrition and Metabolic Health Initiative at Texas Tech.

One way to do this is through mindfulness and being more present when you’re eating. Put your fork down between bites. Note how the bite tastes and feels in your mouth. Chew thoroughly and experience the sensations. You also can replace your craved food with something else, such as a cup of tea or a healthy snack, and while you eat it, create a new food memory by noting who is around you and what you smell, hear and see.