Satisfy Your Cravings, Save Your Diet

A new study shows that the more you fight a craving, the more likely you'll succumb to it later

As if we needed more evidence as to why denying our cravings doesn't work, a new study about desire regulation serves as yet another reminder. Scientists found that the more frequently people resist an urge, the more they eventually give into their cravings. This is not news to anyone who finds herself binging on Krispy Kremes at the tail-end of a new diet.

As any poor soul who’s tried limiting her calorie intake knows all too well, dieting makes you cranky. Why? According to the study: your willpower becomes depleted with every craving you stop yourself from indulging. And in a negative cycle, low willpower leads to more stress which leads to a higher craving for carbs and other bad treats. Basically, the more you resist a food, the more you want it.

The answer: Postpone your cravings. The study found that the key to not sabotaging yourself is to reduce the desire and not to increase the willpower. If you feel like pasta for lunch, don’t deny your craving completely. Instead, tell yourself that if you still crave it at dinnertime, you can have it. Obviously, we’re not suggesting you jump into a pan of lasagna just because you feel like it: cholesterol and diabetes are still consequences of a terrible diet. But, choose a healthier whole-wheat pasta with tomato sauce.You’ll save yourself from giving into temptation (10-fold) later on.

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