Cravings are triggered by everything from changes in blood sugar, hormone imbalances, insufficient nutrition, along with emotional and mental causes that make food appear to be the hero.

These tips will help you be the one in charge of the food you eat and allow you to stage your personal craving intervention.

Pay attentions to cravings:

A study reported in Appetite revealed that those who accept cravings without becoming frustrated or giving into temptation had fewer overall cravings. Participants were taught to pinpoint different bodily sensations in order to understand the longevity of a craving and how to defeat it.

Keep a foodie journal:

Jot down what kind of cravings you encounter and why that specific craving arose. Is what you are feeling physical hunger? What are the cravings triggered by? Identify patterns in your craving. By singling them out, you can be prepared to tackle them in a smarter fashion then just giving in. Overall, a journal will help you to keep track of what goes into your body and your eating patterns.

Show food who’s the boss:

Day dreaming about food you’ve tokened as hands-off is only going to haunt you even more. Restraining yourself from specific items only amps up their appeal, causing a sense of craving them to basically corner you. Those who create an “off-limits” list, have reported to crave those certain foods the more. A Physiological Behavior study showed that people crave an un-appetizing food as long as it is untouchable. Simply put; as soon as you can’t have it – you inevitably want it. Minimize what you restrict yourself from and allow moderate tasting to avoid going overboard with cravings.

Excite your taste buds:

When meals have no variety, cruel cravings are inevitable to creep up. Just because a food is healthy, doesn’t mean it has to be bland. Experiment with different types of foods. Try an exotic fruit or unique veggie. Spice up healthy options with delicious spices like rosemary or red peppers. Keep in mind that even your favorite choices can get monotonous and make you crave something unhealthy.

Walk away from your craving:

Just as you would expect, chocolate is the number one craved food item. As a snack, dark chocolate can be a good choice, full of antioxidants. However, limiting yourself to one serving size of sweet cocoa can be even more difficult than swimming upstream. Try to avoid overindulging by taking a 15 minute jog or brisk walk. This will help remind you of your fitness goals, burn a few extra calories, and reduce your chocolate craving.

Stress is not your friend:

Nutrition Bulletin journal reported a connection between increase of cortisol, a hormone which is present due to stress, and an alteration in the food we choose and an increase in caloric intake. Thanks to stressful situations, we tend to make more unhealthy diet choices. When stress hits home, we tend to crave carbs which are high in energy density. These sugary, carbohydrate rich treats temporarily boost serotonin, a brain chemical which regulates mood. This short boost leaves you craving more of that natural high and therefore giving into bad cravings over and over again.