They are the bane of my existence and I am not alone. I've written before about how a lot of the ingredients in modern food are addictive (refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, etc) and that's as much as I've talked about the subject. I was recently asked how I deal with the cravings that come with this addiction.
To be honest, I'm still fighting that battle. I have my days where I win and I have my days where I lose; however, I'm starting to win far more than lose. I grew up eating primarily restaurant food, fast food, TV dinners, and pretty much any food that came in a box or a can. Moderation was a word that I could define, but not truly understand. It didn't help that I was pretty sad/depressed growing up (AWESOME childhood) and thus I emotionally ate a lot.
Since starting this blog and my new, healthier lifestyle, I've done a lot better at handling my cravings. I will list some of the things that I have done that have helped me (You know me, lists are my thing. So are parenthesis).
- No one is going to like this, but willpower is my first weapon. It hasn't always been my strongest, but I've learned that if I REALLY fight it, I won't eat it. Once you go for like a week or so without the stuff you usually crave, the cravings start to weaken. When you give in, they come back and you have to fight again.
- When my willpower starts to weaken (I'm only human), I eat a small amount of something "bad" for me so that I don't end up eating a crap ton. I find that it's better to give in a little at first than to let it get so bad that you eat WAY too much. That being said, for me it was better to not give in for the first week to help my body get use to the new diet.
- I let myself have one small treat a day, like a licorice whip or SOMETHING small. On days where I didn't work out or ate more than I thought I should, I don't get a "treat."
- When I DO end up giving in, I pretend like it didn't happen the next day and work hard not to give in again. Like I said above, once you give in, the cravings come back and you have to start over again.
- Find healthier versions of your junk foods (hint of salt potato chips for me) and only eat one serving of it.
- Find a substitute that stops your craving or at least takes the edge off of it. Grapes, to me, are the candy of the fruit world and help me when I'm craving sweets.
- I keep track of my calories pretty meticulously and being able to see how bad something is for me makes me want it less. Also, seeing my totals for calories and fats helps me to not add to it.
- Progress! Each pound I lose motivates me to keep working at it and I like the feeling of progress more than I like the taste of candy.
I hope that helps. What do YOU do to resist cravings?
<3 - CFC