Obesity and other factors could impact whether or not you cave when it comes to junk food cravings. So what can you do about it?
Some of us can walk by a billboard advertising gorgeously golden French fries or chicken wings without a second look. Others need only read "salty" and "crispy" to feel a craving coming on. It turns out that obese individuals are more likely to respond to the latter, which opens up yet more questions about how much our outside environment affects our choices.
New Orleans-based nutritionist Molly Kimball, R.D., isn't surprised by these findings. She often sees vastly different responses to food from clients. "The same stimulus creates a much stronger reaction in some," she explains. "If the bakery is advertising someone's favorite food, one person may have to take a separate route home, because the ad is so compelling to them." And if you're one of those people, you may need to further tweak your game plan for maintaining your diet.
How? "Set yourself up for success by changing the things in your environment that you can control," Kimball suggests. After all, success looks like anticipating those cravings—and having a plan. For example, if you know that your whole day gets thrown out of whack because there's a birthday in the office, bring a chocolate-y protein bar in your purse on those special occasions. This way, you're still partaking and still enjoying yourself. Kimball also recommends taking a look at which external cues you're inviting in.
"It could be something as simple as filtering whom you follow on Instagram," she says. "Are you following a person who's always posting her latest baking project?" You don't need to see that frosting look even more beautiful with a Valencia filter. Unfollow, and seek out some healthy social media accounts to follow (like these 20 foodie Instagram accounts you should be following). Vegetables are pretty too! And their adjectives can be enticing: crisp, green, refreshing, satisfying, guilt-free. Are you hungry for the good stuff yet?