How to deal with cravings?
Before talking about cravings, you must define yourself and your goals.
Do you want to be fit and healthy? Or are you looking for aesthetics alone?
Different goals require different approaches, keeping this in mind one of the reasons why you may have cravings may be caused by your diet or it may be a lack of minerals or just bad habits?
Maybe you are bored or feeling blue? Maybe you are in love?
Have you been following a strict diet for a long time?
Are your cravings associated to your emotional state?
Have you even noticed or even kept a track of the times and situations when you feel like giving into cravings? If you do or at least you remember the situations, you would notice that most of your cravings are associated to your feelings, this is due to our brain being predetermined by our past actions (This is going to be another post)
But what about when my diet is good and I still have cravings?
I could talk all day about this but I’m not going to bore you I’m going to talk about how I deal with my cravings from my situation and point of view.
When you follow a balanced healthy diet your cravings will be reduced (you will crave less) but your cravings don’t go 100% away. I don’t live on my own and I don’t expect my family and friends to eat what I eat all the time, I also don’t avoid relationships (friends) just because I need to avoid temptations. Fitness is a mental game and most of the battles are won through mental strength. Avoiding temptations and giving into cravings from an aesthetic point of view is more complicated than it seems. But in general life and a day to day basis there are few tricks I and you can use to condition our brains and avoid giving into it; at the end of the day we are just animals with instincts.
So here is a short list of the ones that come to my mind right now:
1) Drink plenty of water! One of the main reasons for cravings is actually dehydration.
2) Eat at a table! You are tempted to eat more and give into cravings when you are sat in front of the TV, have you ever noticed why snacks are so popular at the cinema?
3) Brush your teeth after each meal! By doing this you will send a message to your brain saying “meal is over”
4) Keep motivational stuff around the house! Keeping visual motivation around you will help you to remind yourself constantly of your goals.
5) Go out for a walk! Distract yourself, don’t allow yourself to get so bored without anything to do when you are facing a craving attack. Fresh air is always good to put things in perspective.
6) Avoid sugary and processed food! If you feel like something sweet, first make sure you have at hand a healthier option, e.g. a banana or some fruit salad. I find smoothies (without ice cream and cream of course) to be a great substitute and also very filling.
7) Write it down! During a craving attack make sure first you write down or talk to yourself about it, e.g. Why I want it? How it’s going to make me feel? Etc.
8) Avoid exposure! If for some reason you have milk chocolates, sweets, crisp etc at home, make sure they are not exposed to the eye, keep them in a draw or even better just don’t buy them, if it’s not in the house it would be less likely you give into it.
9) Eat in front of a mirror! most probably you are not going to eat it.
10) Don’t see it as an enemy or something that you SHOULDN’T! have you ever noticed that kids are more likely to do things they are not allowed to do? Once again it is your brain being predetermined by your past or your instincts ( like EVA), don’t say to yourself I SHOULDN’T, better say to yourself I can do it if I want to but DO I REALLY WANT TO?
If you are really craving something for a long time and you want to give into it, don’t be silly ONCE IN A BLUE MOON is not going to kill you but just make sure it is once in a while, until you feel strong enough to manage it the way you prefer (like the famous CHEAT MEAL).
I Hope these ideas are helpful to control and overcome some of those craving attacks.
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