Friday, August 16, 2013
This may not be news to you.
I'm now more active in some fitness/health facebook groups. Someone was asking how to get rid of cravings, so I lent my advice to the group as I've struggled with it during points of my journey. (You may remember the Oreo incident or last Halloween.)
This is some of the advice I gave to the group. I hope that it is something that will help with someone's cravings and how I got past my own.
There are several ways to get past cravings.
First off, create a healthy home environment.
Do not bring home the things that you know will cause cravings. No Oreos for me. When it's not easily accessible, it's harder to have. The kids do not need sugary items anyhow.
Do have appropriate sweets in the house. Fruit and yogurt work well as a substitute to the candy and cookies.
Plan for work temptations. If you know there are daily donuts, bring your own treats. If you know there's a vending machine, forget to bring change.
Processed treats are created to make you crave more. They put a certain amount of sugar, processed flour and msg in them (msg can be labeled as different forms which all act the same way) to make you hungrier. There is a reason the producers are chemists and not cooks.
When you're in the middle of a craving, wait 5 minutes. Most often it will go away. If you're still hanging on to that craving ask yourself a few questions, Am I bored? Am I in an extreme emotion? Am I actually hungry?
If you're emotional (this can be either happy or sad emotions), try writing about it. You may come to find out what your trigger is for your usual craving. Do you eat to fill a void or are you eating "because you deserve it"?
For both emotions or boredom, find a different thing to do. Perhaps you need to meditate or go for a walk? Maybe knitting is what gets you both busy and working on your thoughts. I know when I'm extra angry or frustrated, a long walk works, and surprisingly, they tend to be my fastest walks too. One time it took more than 2 miles before I settled down. When your hands are busy with something else, you can't possibly be shoving the sweets into your mouth as easily.
If you think you're hungry, grab a drink of water. Wait 5 more minutes. If you're still hungry, have a balanced snack. If you're truly hungry then a salad with fruit or turkey will fill you better than a candy bar. No, Snickers does not satisfy.
I do not believe in no-calorie sweeteners. If it's artificial, it's not good for the body. Even Stevia has been processed so badly it's artificial. I had someone argue this with me, but it is so new to this market, it has no long-term studies done to it and I'm not a guinea pig. Some artificial sweeteners are banned in some countries because they can cause cancer at a higher rate than those who don't use it.
I do believe in treats. I have a parfait every morning. Mine only has frozen fruits, more often mixed berries, but other fruits if I feel like it, and organic vanilla yogurt. Yes, my flavored yogurt has sugar, I'm okay with that. Reach for fruit more often than candy.
If I really want some other treat, I'm likely to make it myself, but I will also have a single-serve candy bar when I'm out occasionally. I slow down and savor it. One small bite at a time. I do not inhale my candy like I used to.
Remember that it isn't a treat if it's happening all the time. It won't taste as good when it's all the time. Anticipation is part of the joy of a good treat.
It actually isn't as fun when it's ongoing, I got depressed when I couldn't stop eating the Halloween candy and had to go out and buy more. I felt helpless when the Oreos disappeared quickly. I was angry at myself for eating thousands of calories in one sitting. Yes, I would growl at my family if they tried to take my "treat". That is not the person I want to be.
When you are having a really hard time, cut yourself off from your sugar completely for a week. It will be hard to do. You will have withdrawals. You will gain more energy at the end of the week and not have as many cravings once it's out of your system. Fruit is fine during this time, but Twix is not.
I am a sugar addict. If I start having candy, it will have the domino effect and I'll want more. I lose control around it. It's not good for me. I choose not to bring it home because I know I won't control myself around it. My kids don't need sugar, they need nutrition. There is no good excuse for having the candy (and "fruit snacks" are candy too!) in the home.
Today's Holidays: National Men's Grooming Day, National Airborne Day, National Tell a Joke Day, Bratwurst Day and National Rum Day.