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8 ways to conquer your cravings

Everyone has cravings. But for people with diabetes, the stakes are higher. Fortunately, many people find that if they simply wait 20 minutes, the craving will go away. Try it! It's a relatively small window of time. For other ways to control cravings (instead of letting them control you), keep these ideas in mind.

1. First, test 
Have you ever been bowled over by a sudden craving, only to realize later that it was low blood sugar in disguise? When cravings hit, test first. You may still need to eat, but at least you'll know what you really need.1

2. Ask yourself, "Am I hungry?" 
If you're not hungry but you still feel like you can't say no to that leftover ravioli, it could be a craving. Sometimes, pointing out the obvious will give you the extra nudge you need to snap out of it.

3. Don't get hungry 
Eat a healthy breakfast with some filling proteins and fiber, and you may be less tempted by the not-so-good-for-you goodies.

4. Distractions, distractions 
Take a walk, organize your desk, pay a few bills, run errands―do something that occupies your thoughts and takes your mind off of the treats you crave.

5. Snack smarter 
Always have some healthy snacks around―fruit, nuts or even gum. Leave them at home, in your car, at work, in your bag—anywhere you can get to them quickly.

6. Water to the rescue! 
Did you know that cravings could just be a sign of thirst? Gulp down a big glass of water and see if your craving disappears.

7. Stay energized 
Try to avoid things that sap your energy (like skipping a meal or unchecked stress) and include things that keep your batteries charged (like exercise and getting enough sleep). When you're run down, that's when you're most likely to reach for the things you crave.

8. Ditch the zero-tolerance rule 
In other words, give in to a craving every now and then. You don't have to go overboard and eat a dozen buttermilk biscuits, but you don't have to deny yourself the things you love, either. Everything in moderation, as they say.

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1Joslin Diabetes Center. Food cravings and diabetes. Available at: http://www.joslin.org/info/food_cravings_and_diabetes.html. Accessed October 17, 2016.

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