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50 Fun Things to Do to Fight Food Cravings

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When it's 3 p.m and those cookies in the office kitchen are calling your name, saying no can feel like a Herculean task (especially when that all-to-familiar mid-afternoon stress strikes). But while fighting food cravings is never easy, rest assured, it can be done—it just requires thinking outside the box a bit (because we all know diet tips like "drink water" just never do the trick). So next time you're ready to blow your weight-loss efforts on a cookie, just try one of these creative, fun ideas to make the craving disappear.

1. Satisfy your sweet craving with a dance party to “Sugar” by Maroon 5.

2. Permission to Facebook stalk: Look up an old flame and see what they’re up to.

3. Create a new “Top 10” playlist to push you through your next weekend workout (consult June's Top 10 Workout Tracks for some inspo).

4. Out of sight, out of mind: Take a new route home avoiding the bakery you can’t resist.

5. Rub essential oils on your hands, like peppermint (said to curb cravings), and take a big whiff.

6. Connect with nature and feel calmer. Get outside, take off your shoes and stick your feet in the ground.

7. Strip down naked and take a look. That might be all the inspiration you need to skip the junk.

8. Read that book that’s been sitting on your coffee table for months.

9. Plant an herb garden…mmm, basil for life (here's how to find your green thumb!).

10. Zen out: Sit quietly and focus on your breath. Focus on the in and out for 10 deep meditative breaths.

11. Clean out your junk drawer: If Monica from Friends has a junk closet, we know you at least have a drawer.

12. Envious of your Instagram friend’s jet setting life? Google a destination and plan a dream trip (these healthy beach destinations are a great place to start!).

13. Practice that American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance audition piece you keep putting off (what age limit?!).

14. Do some jumping jacks. Sounds silly, but you’ll get blood flowing and remind yourself to be healthy.

15. Take a tip from cranky toddlers and take a nap—you may actually be tired, not hungry.

16. Chop up fruits and veggies to have on hand for snacks the rest of the week.

17. Look up that swimsuit you’ve had your eye on for inspiration (We've got our eyes on these sporty-sexy swimsuits perfect for any water sport).

18. Remind yourself it tastes great for only a minute.

19. Smooch your honey: Your mouth will be too occupied to eat.

20. Just fluff it: Check out our ultimate guide to running with your dog, then take your pup for a spin outside.

21. Craving crunch? Go for a run through the leaves.

22. Envision a world without smart phones and memorize five friends phone numbers.

23. Reorganize your fridge: Move veggies out of the crisper to the middle shelf where you can see them.

24. Plan your dinner menu for the week (These pro meal-planning tricks take out the guesswork!).

25. Try and make a list of 20 reasons why you should eat it. You won’t finish…

26. Paint your nails—you won’t want to mess them up for a measly cookie.

27. You can finally get around to organizing your photos from your last trip.

28. YouTube beauty videos and experiment with your makeup. Who knew a dramatic cat-eye could be so easy?

29. Learn it and repeat it: I have everything I need in this very moment. I am safe, nurtured and loved.

30. Chomp on some sugarless gum (it can also help lower your stress levels!).

31. Find outfit inspiration on Pinterest and put one together using the items in your closet.

32. Go upside down! Kick up against a wall or on your own to get your blood flowing in the opposite direction.

33. Reach out for a pep talk: Call your fittest buddy for guidance (and if you don't have a workout buddy here's why you should get one, stat!).

34. Suggest walking meetings at work. It’s easier to be strong when there’s not a mountain of bagels on the table.

35. Challenge your significant other to a staring contest—first to blink has to kiss the other. Maybe you’ll crave something else…

36. Take a bike ride or drive to a beautiful view and take in the scenery (science shows cycling can make you smarter and happier, too. Win-win!). 

37. Do a face mask: the scent and the stickiness will deter you from noshing.

38. The written word is a lost art: Pen an old-fashioned letter to a loved one.

39. Break into your emergency healthy snack. Always keep fruit or nuts nearby so you don’t crack.

40. Hit the gym, by the time you’re done your cravings will be gone.

41. FaceTime a friend or family member you’ve been meaning to catch up with.

42. Dust off the Wii for a round of Dance, Dance Revolution.

43. Look through old photo albums and reminisce. That’s what they’re there for right?

44. Organize or tidy up your office or home. Busy hands can’t eat…

45. Tackle that tough Sunday crossword puzzle.


46. Sip on herbal tea while you mull over your hunger level.

47. Watch the latest episode of your favorite binge-worthy show on Netflix.

48. Candy bowl on your friend’s desk at work? Take a lap.

49. Journal your cravings and be specific—where, why and how you feel. Writing it down puts you in touch.

50. Get to that one thing on your To Do list that’s been there for months.

Experts: Danielle Colley, R.D., director of nutrition at nutritionix.com; Jennifer Gibson, lead health coach at Vida Health; celebrity trainer Lacey Stone; Krista Ulatowski, R.D.N., owner of KUcumber Nutrition Communications; Chere Bork, R.D.N.; modelFIT cofounder Vanessa Packer; Maya Friedman, R.D., of River North Nutrition; Julie Upton, R.D.; Mandy Unanski Enright, R.D.N., of Nutrition Nuptials; trainer Pauline Nordin; Willow Jarosh, R.D., and Stephanie Clark, R.D., of C&J Nutrition; Whitney Tinage and Danielle Duboise, creators of Sakara Life

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