Friday, May 13, 2011

What To Do About Cravings?

Overall you're doing ok on your weight loss program. Eating right and exercising on plan. But then you suddenly find yourself hit with a craving that you can't overcome, and it all goes downhill from there. Been there? Me too. So what to do when the cravings hit?

Here are a few suggestions of things I have found helpful over time:

- Identify your tempters and banish them from the house. If Twinkies are what does you in, be sure not to buy them...ever. That way they aren't readily available during a weak moment. This can be tough if other family members also like the same things that you do. Sit them down, talk to them about your goals and ask for their support. Find a way to compromise by buying some snacks that they love that don't excite you as much.

- Figure out what your most vulnerable time of day is and plan for it. Late afternoon binging? Bedtime snacking? Be sure to plan activities that keep you busy during those times, so your mind isn't on food. Boredom is often our downfall isn't it? So stay active. Structure your diet plan to accommodate for these tough times of day. Maybe eat lunch a little later so you aren't starving in the afternoon. Or save enough calories in your daily plan to allow for a small snack at bedtime. Find low calorie options like fat free hot chocolate or a popsicle to eat while the family snacks, so you don't feel deprived watching them.

- Drink some water!!! Many times our bodies mistake dehydration for hunger. Drinking water quenches our thirst and also fills your stomach so you don't feel as hungry.

- Be sure you are spreading out your daily food allotment into many small meals throughout the day, so you never get too over hungry in between. Eat enough calories that your body doesn't think it's starving. This is usually what triggers binge eating - being too stingy on calories in the first place. Kinda can backfire if you take that too far in an effort to lose weight quickly, and then end up scarfing everything in sight to compensate.

- If there is a particular goodie that you love, offer it to yourself as a reward for reaching a particular fitness goal. Or give yourself one free day a week when you are free to indulge. That way you won't feel as deprived, because you know the special treat is coming soon!

-Fill the pantry and refrigerator with healthy, easy to access snacks. In the midst of a craving you never feel like taking the time to fix something. You want FAST satisfaction. So have yogurt, carrots and almonds on hand to grab and go when feeling desperate!!

If you give in to a craving don't beat yourself up. Just adjust and start again! Plan ahead, so next time YOU will control your cravings, rather than let THEM control you!

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