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How to Drive Away Hunger PangsDon't you hate it when you're sitting at your desk working away and you are hit with sudden hunger pangs? It gets so hard to concentrate on what you're doing because all you can think about is that delicious something or another you want to eat. Hunger pangs can cause you to make poor food choices, or even break your diet altogether! Here are some ways to drive away hunger pangs the moment they set in:
Drink WaterThis won't actually stop you from feeling hungry, but it will often help you to realize that you were just thirsty. Your body often interprets thirst as hunger, so when you're craving something to eat, really it's just your body begging for water. Often, the time it takes you to go and get a cup of water will be enough for you to forget about the food you are craving. Food cravings pass in between 3 and 10 minutes, so getting a drink of water will help you to separate the real hunger from mistaken signals!
Chew GumWhile chewing gum is not the healthiest choice, it's certainly better than breaking your diet by eating a donut or grabbing something from the vending machine. Chewing gum sends signals to your brain, specifically the part that controls your appetite. The chewing motion of your mouth causes a placebo effect, indicating that you are eating and thus you are becoming satiated. It will help you to feel full without actually eating anything.
Did you know that stress is the #1 cause of food cravings? When you're stressed, your body craves something that will make you happy--which is often how you feel about comfort foods. But instead of eating, spend a few minutes chatting with a coworker. The distraction will take your mind off your hunger, and the social interaction will help to reduce stress and boost happiness. As a result, you will no longer feel the need for something sweet or salty to take the edge off!
Brush Your TeethThis will work beautifully if you are still hungry after a light meal or midday snack! Mint signals to your body that are you no longer hungry, and it stimulates your digestive system to process your food. The minty flavor also makes food less appealing. Just make sure you don't brush your teeth more than two or three times per day! Over-brushing can lead to enamel decay, which can cause cavities. If you're hungry more than a few times every day, bring a thermos of peppermint tea or mint-infused water to work and have a cup every time you feel the hunger pangs.
Play a GameDid you know that playing video games on your phone or computer is one of the best ways to fight off hunger pangs? Actually, it won't do anything against your hunger, but it will be the key to getting rid of cravings. Food cravings are your mind telling your body that it wants something to make it feel good. The cravings are often accompanied by a mental picture and sense memory of that delicious food, and how it made you feel. But you're not actually hungry, so there's no need to eat. Thankfully, food cravings will pass within 3 to 10 minutes, and all you need to do is distract your mind long enough for it to forget. Playing a video game on your computer or phone won't detract from your work too much, and it will stop you from lusting after something you know you shouldn't be eating.