How do I control my cravings? This is a very common question that I used to get from clients, and there is no one size fits all answer. I’ll give you my ways, which where proven to me also via my clients who tried these methods. Give them a shot, if you want to start the process of controlling your cravings so that you can gain a slimmer waistline. But just understand that it is a process and like any new habit you may cave in occassionally. Just move on from your temptations if this is the case and don’t give up on your goals.
Its early in the morning and your have just risen from bed and your craving a sugary start to the day. There is some chocolates left over from the night before, or pizza that you fed your kids. You’re in a hurry to eat, so whilst you know that eating those two options are not the best thing, you still do. No matter what you must eat in the morning, its the basis of controlling your cravings through out the day. So, instead of the sinful foods, have a lean healthy shake, whey protein, with berries and natural peanut butter. If you would prefer savoury then havve a couple of eggs, some low fat cheese and spinach. Studies show that having protein will make you fuller and decrease the chances of you overeating or wanting more foods half an hour later.
When craving sweet sugary foods like chocolate, eat a piece of fruit and nuts instead. A piece of chocolate is great every now and then but it won’t control your cravings. So I would suggest have one piece of chocolate and then having some fruit, veges or nuts afterwards. This will make you fuller, not overeat chocolate and help sustain your energy longer, plus it’s just much more healthier.
If you’re craving a can of cola, chances are you have formed a slight addiction of the caffeine and sugar. Drink water or even drink a sugar free cola and you will feel the same afterwards. As much as I like a coffee because of it’s taste, I’m not reliant on if for energy as I know it will give you a false sense of energy. The same goes for soft drinks, I love a sugar free cola drink every now and then, but it’s for the taste and not for the bodys need for energy and that’s where most cravings come from. As always drink as much as water as possible, which will in turn hydrates you instead of dehydrating you so that your want more cola or caffeine.
For lunch you want a massive plate of cheesy chips or pasta carbonara. Well here I might surprise you and I am going to say have it, but don’t make a habit of it, and ask for a smaller portion. Controlling your cravings is just that control, not elimination. In your next meal just make sure your eat a healthier form of meal which includes lean meat, a handful of health carbs from plenty of veges, and finish off with a piece of fruit. You will probably find that the latter is more food, but actually much less calories so you can feel great mentally not just physically.
Its mid afternoon and controlling your craving is starting to get more difficult. As a snack you could have a wholemeal sandwich with peanut butter and sugar free jam instead of the traditional pack of biscuits or crisps. The wholemeal bread will give you energy until your dinner and peanut butter will give you a dose of healthy fats to satisfy your heart and hunger. Two teaspoons of peanut butter is enough and you can also use an apple or celery as substitute for the bread.
The other think I’ve heard people say is that it’s no good to eat before bed time. For what ever reason that might be, from putting fat on because you’re not active in bed, to just being full of energy because of food, this might be the case for an individual, but I think in general, there is nothing wrong with have a small scack if you really are hungry. But make sure you eat something small around one hour before you go to bed. This will stop you from getting hungry during the night. Studies have shown that you will sleep better as well. Try a small yoghurt with blueberries or cottage cheese (low fat), with some sugar free jelly. I don’t mind 2 teaspoons of peanut butter, which is generally good enough for me and tastes great.
In the end I think the one the best ways to control cravings is to keep busy. Think about it, if you’re feeding yourself right and are drinking plenty of water then your body is fuelled. It’s generally your mind that will drift into thinking about food, most likely when you’re bored. Let me ask you, do you ever feel hungry when you are busy? I know when I’m working and because I love working, I don’t get hungry until I know it’s my feeding time. When I have strong cravings, not only do I use the above tips, but I also make sure I get a small fix of whatever it is I crave. I don’t believe in total removal of “junk food” if you enjoy it. Total removal will just lead to wanting more of it and you end up eating more than ever before. That’s what “diets” do to people. Do you know what I mean?
Ask yourself – how am I going to control my cravings? You can use the above tips or you can come up with a strategy of your own. When you plan around craving, you can initial that plan whenever a craving comes along. Be specific about that plan, i.e. have a contingency plan for a chocolate cravings and another plan for potato chips. Finally, its a mental thing, never stop thinking and envisioning what you want to achieve when it comes to your body. If you’ve got a stong goal of losing weight, then ask yourself? Is eating this chocolate bar going to get me closer to my goal or further away? Do I really need that chocolate bar right now? Save the sinful snacks for once or twice a month and I guarantee you will be well on your way to achieve that leaner body.
If you have any tips yourself feel free to share them below or let me know if you have any other questions.
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