3 ways I deal with this success-killing addiction
ByAdam Steer, Co-Founder Shapeshifter Media
NCSA-CPT, NCCP 3, CSIA Lvl 4 Course Conductor,
Biosignature Certified, MAT Lower Body Specialist
CSCF 3, AKC Certified Coach
Here are 3 strategies that I've had to develop over the years to keep my own cravings in check. They're not the whole story, but they are my top 3.
1. Plug the holes
Listen to your body, and answer your hunger promptly with the right foods. I like to think of this as plugging the holes of hunger.
Instead of eating when you're "supposed" to -- according to the clock -- only eat when you get hungry. And make sure you eat foods that contain mostly protein and fat. They'll fill you up and keep you satiated for longer.
Following this practice eventually "smooths out" your hunger hormones, and you begin to feel hungry less often. Your hunger will also become less intense. I find this strategy particularly important at times when I've fallen off the wagon and need to get back on track.
2. Take a break
At first glance it seems like this strategy contradicts the first. But in fact it is complementary.
Every now and then, I suggest you take a break from eating for 16 to 36 hours. You can do this as little as once a month to as much as twice a week.
The fancy word for it is intermittent fasting. During that fasting window, you are only allowed to consume water and small amounts of coffee and / or tea. Don't worry -- it's much easier than it sounds.
I recommend fasting not just for it's calorie control and cleansing benefits, which are fantastic, but for it's ability to teach you about hunger.
Food is tied very strongly to emotion. And because we have such an over-abundance of food in our society, it's not uncommon for us to get disconnected with what actual hunger feels like.
Boredom, stress, and even a strange "hormonal hunger" can cause you to think you need food, even when your stomach is still full from your previous meal.
Taking a periodic break from eating puts you back in touch with your body, and helps you recognize the times when you're not truly hungry. It's another great way to reestablish your healthy relationship with food.
3. Limit your "cheats"
This might not be necessary for everyone, but it has become a cornerstone of my personal nutritional strategy.
I'm not willing to give up on "junky" foods forever. Part of the enjoyment of life and friends, in my opinion, is being able to partake in some of the food and drink of fellowship.
But the danger for me is allowing it to spill over. I've found myself eating like crap for DAYS after a cheat. And the longer my "cheat window" the more dangerous it becomes...
That's why I rarely do a cheat "day." It's just too big of a window for me to fly out of control in. And it can cause my addiction to kick back in full force. BUT I seem to be just fine with an hour.
So that's my recommendation. Give yourself 1 hour to eat whatever you want. But when the hour is up, you're done. I like this method because it gives you a psychological cutoff to make things concrete. If you don't give yourself that line in the sand, you could keep picking at stuff for hours, which can turn into days. [...been there, done that...]
I hope you'll give these 3 Strategies a try, and that they help you as much as they've helped me