How to beat food cravings

Five foods to avoid to help you nip those cravings in the bud

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The trainer and fitness expert, Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser shares five “trigger foods” you should skip to beat those pesky food cravings once and for all.

1. Keep your sugar substitutes, such as Sweet’n Low and Splenda, to a minimum. These are great products for adding sweetness to a beverage or cereal. But too much might trigger your craving for something really sweet – like a slice of pie or ice cream!

2. Avoid foods high in sodium, including Chinese takeout, chips, canned soups, and some frozen dinners. Sodium not only makes you retain fluids but also acts as an appetite stimulant and contributes to heart disease.

3. Avoid foods high in fat, including ice cream, baked goods, and chips. Some of these foods may contain trans fat, but even if they don’t, the fat means you’re taking in too many calories, and this will no doubt upset your caloric goals for the day.

4. Avoid alcohol. An occasional glass of wine or light beer is a pleasure I don’t want to deny you. But it’s easy to forget that alcohol contains a lot of hidden calories – 80-90 calories per glass of wine and 120 calories per beer. If you have between three and five drinks per week, that’s around 250-500 extra calories per week! Alcohol also lowers your inhibitions and may lead to less-than-good food choices.

5. Caffeine is a stimulant and one many of us rely on to wake us up in the morning or give us that extra oomph when our energy lags in the afternoon. But do keep in mind that too much caffeine can be bad for us, stressing our bodies, depleting our bones of calcium, and eventually making us more tired than wakeful.

Excerpted from Are You Ready! by Bob Harper Copyright © 2008 by Bob Harper. Excerpted by permission of Broadway, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Check out our healthy meal plans to help you meet your fitness and weight loss goals.

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