I have an admission to make. During my birthday month, I totally enjoyed myself with food and drink, sweets and all that stuff. And I'll be the first to admit that my body can definitely tell the difference from a mostly good/healthy diet to a diet without restraint. Well, now that I'm bringing the reigns back in and am seriously dealing with cravings. I mean.. I've had them before but it doesn't seem like they were at the level they are now. From chocolate to bbq to fried foods. Whoa! Yeah, it's serious over here!
Damn you Chocolate Cake!! Damn you!!!
Not being hard on myself, I do understand that committing to a healthier lifestyle is a process. Processes tend to include setbacks, some willing, others unwillingly. They just tend to happen. I'm still reading "Conscious Eating" by Dr. Gabriel Cousens and articles regarding cravings and how to handle them. And just in case I'm not the only person dealing with cravings, I'd like to share with you some pointers.
1. Look for the hidden meaning. Isolate what you are craving and what it might represent. Maybe the mac-n-cheese reminds you of Mom and that loving feeling at home.
2. Ask yourself, "What is my body trying to tell me?". Is there any particular physical reason that your body wants this food? Is it for a mood lift or maybe a vitamin/mineral need.
3. Run for the hills!! Try to ride it out. Focus on something else. To ease the pressure say to yourself,"If I still want it tomorrow or 3 days later then I'll go ahead and have a piece.". Sometimes the craving will subside.
4. Understand that sometimes, resistance is futile. If you do indulge, savor it. Enjoy it. Sit down, put it on a pretty plate and take it in. Release the guilt or thought of you "falling off the wagon". Focusing on the negative behavior can increase the likelihood of repeating it. Stay focused on what you're doing right and the healthy choices you're making.
5. Get a whiff. Realize that most of the time, it's not about the food but about the smell, sight, or memory associated with the food. And the choice may be more about a conditioned response or habit. For example: popcorn at the movies, a hotdog or pretzel at a ballgame, etc. Discipline is like a muscle, it does get stronger with use.
6. Be joyful. Try to focus on people and the experience at a party or gathering apart from the food. Look for non-food of bringing more joy into your life and into the life of others.
7. Fill up. Load up on greens. One of the best ways of combating cravings is to be full oa amazingly good healthy food. Another tip that may help is to take a tsp of coconut oil in the morning. Sometimes we aren't getting our essential oils, which keep us satiated.
8. Put your cupboard in check. One of the best ways to deal with temptation is to remove the item from reach. So clean out the pantry, the freezer, and fridge.
9. Trade up. Take at least one day per week to make a special meal or treat to last the week. Craving salty chips? Make some dehydrated bbq potato chips or baked chips. Craving fudge? Make a pan of fudge or truffles. If you have a pantry full of good food, your mind may be less likely to think on less healthy foods.
10. Get busy. Write up a list of 100 fun things you want to do. Like visiting Italy, learning another language, taking up bellydancing, or whatever may float your boat. Then start doing them. When you are busy loving life, food becomes less of a mistress.
These are just a few tips that I got from the current issue of Purely Delicious magazine. Great magazine!!
Have any tips for fighting cravings? Then by all means, do share...