Thursday, January 20, 2011

Handling the Craving Monsters.....(.tips to keep you on track)

It's never easy to commit to something, even if the desire is strong. Being human, means we are fallible to a degree. We are bound to "mess-up" from time to time. And because of that, i have learned to forgive my little fallacies. I have learned that with want, one must also have need. At least when trying to achieve weight-loss. So I have used that technique on a daily basis.

View the craving for exactly what it is: a craving. It doesn't mean you are not motivated to lose weight. It doesn't mean you are a failure and can't get past food, it doesn't mean you are going to relapse. A craving simply means a trigger went off in your brain that told you to crave something, nothing more, and nothing less.
Learn about your triggers. Start to record the information about your cravings, such as, the time of day, smell in the air, what you see, and of course what you're craving. Learning them can really help you get through them.

Most of the time cravings are short lived. We just decided too fast sometimes to give in with our instant gratification thinking minds. Set up an agreement with yourself not to act on any craving until it lasts over 10 minutes. You can change the time frame but keep it realistic. 10 minutes is more than enough time. Train yourself to immediately engage in some sort of activity to distract yourself from the craving. Take a walk, wash dishes, vacuum, call a friend there are many things you can do to distract yourself.
If I am about to "slip-up" by having cravings for the no no's foods, then I do three things.

1. First I drink 8 oz. of water.( that usually subside the wicked, annoying little voice in my head that wants to "just have a little taste of the food that is forbidden".
If that doesn't work, then I try...
2. I eat something from my "allowed food" list. (This definitely usually does it).

But sometimes my cravings are stronger than the first two steps . that's when I pull out step number three.
3.I ask myself  "How badly do I want it. and do I think I really need it!"....and if I decide that my cravings are far beyond any reasoning......then I usually have a small portion of what my mind is telling me I need.....(usually a small piece of chocolate, like a Hershey kiss will take care of the craving)

** I figure having a "small" set back is better than raiding the pantry for other good foods to eat, and never really satisfying the true urge I had for sweets. At least then, I can have the "treat", and still stay on my diet. By not sabotaging it too much. I just do better the next day.**


Start to Curb those Food Cravings

GoodfoodYou can tell the difference between what the body actually needs (physiological) and what the mind thinks the body needs (psychological) by paying more attention to how your body feels. For example, if your body needs iron you will develop a craving for iron containing foods and when this type of craving develops it will stay with you until the body's needs are met.With a psychological craving, you may just feel the need to have something sweet after dinner or grab a crunchy snack while watching TV just because it's become a pattern and not because your body is actually hungry.
Once you become more aware of the differences, it will become easier to tackle those random cravings and stay with a healthier diet. Here are some simple things that you can do to curb those cravings while staying healthy:
  • Eat something every 3 hours. Having mini-meals or even grabbing an apple can keep your metabolism running and stave off cravings.
  • Drink 8oz of water every hour. It's easy to confuse hunger cravings when your body is just dehydrated. By keeping water introduced to the body, you'll feel less hunger and clearer of mind to deal with random cravings when your body is fully hydrated.
  • When a craving hits, take some time to wait it out. Keep a food journal and give yourself between fifteen and twenty minutes to see if the food craving is still there.
  • Get distracted. When a craving comes on occupy your mind with a different task and the random craving will pass.
  • Exercise a bit. If you are just having a food craving, the want will pass when you get active.
  • Mix up your daily routine. If you normally settle down after work in front of the TV and grab a snack, try taking a bath when you get home to relax or start prepping for dinner. Making a change in your routine can take those cravings of habit away.
So, the next time you get a random craving for some fast food or a sweet and salty snack give the above tips a try. You can curb those cravings and keep your body in a healthier state just by being more aware of habits, your daily routine and listening to your body when it is is need of nutritional value.

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In conclusion you can't stop cravings from happening but you can stop yourself from giving in to them. Know that cravings are just cravings, learn your triggers, set a time frame, and engage in another activity. Good luck!

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