Skip a meal or two
Science says intermittent fasting, as in eating 500 calories one or two days a week or going 12 to 18 hours in a day without food, can help you lose weight and decrease your risk for disease. Heck, skipping meals can even amp-up the production of growth hormones to protect your hard earned muscles and keep your stomach from grumbling. For best results, work your way up, gradually increasing the hours you fast from 12 to 14 to 18.
Let them eat salt
That sweaty workout can have you craving chips, wings and fries, oh my. When sweat happens, so does sodium loss as much as 5,000 milligrams an hour. Skip the deep-fried salt bombs and sprinkle the white stuff on air popped popcorn, Persian cucumbers, baked kale chips and even strawberries for a healthier salt fix.
Ditch the one-note diet
Broccoli for breakfast, lunch and dinner isn't doing your appetite any favors. A study published in Physiology & Behavior found that food monotony could lead to cravings. Mix it up to keep from getting bored.
Imagine cravings away
Close your eyes and picture a colorful rainbow and watch your food hankerings disappear. A McGill University study showed that picturing something pleasurable engaged the imagery section of the brain to cancel out cravings.
Trick your sweet tooth
Healthy sweets are not an oxymoron. Instead of nutrient void cookies and cupcakes, reach for sweets that satisfy your sweet tooth and nutrient needs: Dark chocolate delivers antioxidants, fruit gives you fiber, and Greek yogurt with honey provides protein and calcium.
Get your magnesium fix
Craving chocolate? You could be low in magnesium, a key mineral for muscle contractions and energy production that most of us are lacking. Yes, chocolate is chock-full of it, but healthier bets are almonds, beans, sunflower seeds, fish and leafy greens.
Firming up your muscles could strengthen your resolve. In a Journal of Consumer Research study, participants who tightened up their muscles made better food choices.
Hack your microbiome
The microbial makeup of your gut could determine whether you reach for a soda or a salad, suggests a review in BioEssays. Stack it in your favor by eating fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchee, probiotic-packed yogurt and a variety of veggies.
Be a sleeping beauty
Sleep not only does a body good, but it also can work wonders on your appetite. Being sleep deprived can blunt your frontal lobe, your brain's decision maker, meaning you're more likely to crave junk and eat more calories the next day an average of 385 more, according to one study.
Surf the urge
Cravings usually go one of two ways: We white-knuckle through them or give into them. But there is another option: Rice out the craving. Picture the urge like a wave in the ocean that builds and eventually crashes and it will pass.
Playing a computer game, like Tetris, for as little as three minutes could get your mind off food, says a study in Addictive Behaviors.
Exercise away cravings
When mental fatigue hits and has you reaching for a cookie, hit back with exercise. A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that the lactic acid produced during exercise can feed a tired brain and turn off the urge to overeat.