Avoid temptation and get leaner, quicker
Here at New Body Plan, we’re big believers in occasionally having a little bit of what you fancy – life is about balance after all – but too many sugary snacks too often will make your ambition of achieving a leaner body significantly harder. So here’s our top four favourite ways – all of which require next-to no effort – to combat cravings so you can keep your best-ever body challenge on track.
Mind over matter
Practising mindfulness is as easy as spending a minute or two with your eyes closed focused on nothing else other than your breathing. And while many people associate it with everything from keeping their composure in stressful situations to a great way to mentally prepare for a run or workout, hardly anyone uses it to kill a craving for chocolate. Yet simply stopping for a couple of minutes to relax and breath deeply can distract your brain until your craving for sweet treats passes, according to research from City University in London.
Drink away desire
Can’t stop thinking about those hot cross buns? The chances are you’re not really hungry, but either thirsty or bored. Drink a pint of cold water when the sugar Siren starts calling: not only will water dampen your desire, staying hydrated deepens your willpower reserves. And a study of 18,000 people found that those who drank three extra glasses of water reduced their daily energy intake by 205 calories, according to the Journal Of Human Nutrition And Dietetics.
Play the waiting game
Your brain is a clever old thing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t over-rule it to get your daily calorie count down to keep losing weight. Simply telling yourself you can have that chocolate egg “not now, but later”, can often be enough to quell your craving. That’s because you’re not denying yourself entirely, just delaying the treat for a while, according to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The chances are you may not fancy the sugary snack later, but if you do try the same mind-trick again for as long as it works. This strategy will keep you leaner and help you build greater willpower so all future cravings are much easier to combat.
Make a shake
When that craving just won’t go away, satisfy your sweet tooth and build more muscle by having a whey protein shake instead of raiding the biscuit tin. Simply blend 30g of your favourite flavour of whey protein powder with either milk or water, or a combination of both, plus a handful of ice and frozen berries. Not only will the shake sate your craving without the sugar, you’ll also get a decent hit of muscle-building protein, some essential vitamins, and you’ll stay hydrated. The ice will thicken up the shake too, to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Don’t fancy a protein shake? Try our quick and easy recipe for banana and vanilla protein pancakes instead!