Thanks for all the support for not eating sugar for a while, and for the tips and recommendations you guys gave me. I really feel like I can do this and it will benefit me greatly. Those of you who have done it or continue to do it inspire me. My first test of sorts will come later today as Kepa and I plan to bake some cookies for his school thing. Oh the temptation! But I think I will make it through alive because I know I plan on having something sweet this weekend on Valentine’s Day. Hopefully that thought will get me through the sugary baking process without letting anything go into my mouth. I will let you know how it goes.
Thanks also to those who sent me book recommendations for books about how to manage food cravings. You know I love to read so these were perfect:
- Normal Eating for Normal Weight: The Path to Freedom from Weight Obsession and Food Cravings
- Breaking the Food Seduction: The Hidden Reasons Behind Food Cravings—And 7 Steps to End Them Naturally
- The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It
I have to admit… the cravings for sweet stuff have already lessened. Despite the fact that I went to sleep last night with visions of brownies in my head… I’m not doing as bad today already. Take that sugar.
But since I’m feeling extremely helpful this week, I’m going to give out some more tips. These are actually some tips I wrote a while back (while I was at Green Mountain, I think) and figured I could use the refresher course now too. So here we go…
TIPS FOR MANAGING FOOD CRAVINGS
Food cravings. Ahh, the food cravings!
If you don’t get them now and again you are an alien living in a human’s body. Congratulations. For the rest of us food cravings are part of life. We crave a food we miss eating, a food we see someone else eating, a food we see on tv or hear friends discussing. Many different things trigger our food cravings but with practice it is possible to manage those cravings so that we do not overindulge or fall into a cycle of binge eating.
Here are a few tips that might help you better manage food cravings that lead us to eat unnecessarily.
Accept that food cravings happen.
Like I said earlier, if you don’t have food cravings you might be an alien. Almost everyone experiences food cravings regardless of whether they have food or weight issues. It just happens. Don’t freak out about it or feel like you are unusual.
Understand why it is happening.
If you understand what food cravings are and why they are happening it is easier to manage them. food cravings can occur f0r a number of reasons from food exposure (sorry about the food blog pics!) to emotional stress. Take a few minutes when a craving hits to figure out why it is happening. When you figure out why you are having a food craving it is easier to respond to the craving appropriately.
Hunger causes food cravings. That’s just how it goes. It is a normal physiological reaction. If you are starving yourself to lose weight you are going to cause yourself to crave more food than you would if you were eating three large or five small meals a day. Make sure you are eating enough food each day to eliminate unnecessary hunger induced cravings.
Regular exercise released tension and relieves stress which can cause food cravings. Make sure you are getting more than the recommended amounts of exercise each week to help manage food cravings.
Look at cravings as suggestions.
Hunger is only a suggestion to eat. Just because you feel hungry or feel like you are craving a food doesn’t mean you need to eat or overindulge. When you have a craving try and decide if it’s worth it. Do you really want to eat that brownie? Will it be worth it? Or would it be better to wait? Your body is suggesting a food – that doesn’t mean you have to eat it.
Don’t feel guilty about it.
Food cravings are bound to happen so you shouldn’t feel guilty when you have one or when you give in to one. A single cookie won’t ruin your healthy eating plan. Allow yourself an indulgence now and again when you have a craving without any guilt. Giving in to cravings doesn’t mean you won’t be successful at long term weight loss.
Drink a glass of water.
If you start craving foods try drinking a glass of water. You will make sure you are not dehydrated and that is causing the craving (it’s easy to confuse hunger and thirst). Usually after a glass of water you will forget whatever food that seemed so desirable just a few minutes earlier.
Wait a few minutes.
Cravings have peaks where it feels like you must give in, but if you wait they WILL pass. If you make it past the most intense part of the craving it will actually fade away. Once you know that you can wait out the craving until it subsides.
Do you have any tips you use to manage cravings?