When you want to eat that treat and you know if you do you will regret it later: Log it in your food tracker, look through the calories and nutrition of your treat. Imagine how your treat tastes and feels in your mouth. Don't remove it from your log. Keep it there and go do something else. When you track your next meal or snack you will see it there and remember you never ate it. Either delete your treat or eat it then. Chances are the craving is gone and you can delete those empty calories!
I quit smoking a long time ago, and although I still have the desire, it is getting easier to say NO. That has lead me to the secret ... "Manage each craving one at a time". This applies to food as well. Let yourself know what giving in to your craving will mean for your plan, how it got you in this jam already, and what sacrifices you might need to make to compensate for a "quick fix". One craving at a time ... just say no.
I'm horrible for eating because I'm bored, mostly at night. What I do when I get that craving for sweets or my favourite food in the evening is grab a big glass of water, turn on my favourite song and do something! Sometimes I do crunches, stretch or just plain dance like nobody is watching! I get so caught up in what I'm doing that I forgot I wanted food, plus I can feel good about burning a few extra calories :)
If I'm wanting to eat I ask myself two simple questions:
When I have food cravings I take a moment to think through the process of eating it right through to how I'll feel afterwards, e.g.:
I always experience a food craving after lunch. To keep myself busy and tasty,I make myself a cup of tea or coffee. When I have coffee I add a stevia sweetener and semi-skimmed milk. It saves me calories and I feel satisfied.
When I feel a sweet craving coming on, and I know I'm likely to eat much too much of something much too unhealthy, I compromise with a lollipop (or hard candy, if you prefer). My favorite brand is organic, all natural, has no corn syrup, and is flavored with fruit, so it's quite a bit healthier than a 'regular' corn syrup pop, and by the time I've finished it off 10-15 minutes later, the craving has passed/been satisfied, and I've only consumed 1 pop under 25 calories, instead of whatever else.
I have noticed throughout all the "diets" I've tried over the years that once I'm told I can't have something that's all I want. I have never shed as much weight as I have with Sparkpeople. I'm at 70# now. And by getting to know myself much better and how my cravings seem to work I've learned to never tell anyone I can't eat a certain food and I never tell myself that mentally either. Instead I think of the weight I've shed and the great amount of work and effort it took and 9.5/10 x I pass.
I've adopted the following to help me deal with 'time of the day' cravings. In the afternoon - between 2 and 3 I get a sugar craving. To combat this I have a low calorie chocolate drink (e.g. Options) - there are several brands around equal to 50 to 100 calories at about 1:30.
Eat tons of fruits and veggies every day. Base 2 meals a day around veggies. Just fill your plate! (Add protein and fat to complete the meal). They are nutrient dense and have lots of fiber which will help you prevent additional cravings and getting hungry as much.
Keep healthy munching foods stocked: carrots, cucumbers, apples, pumpkin seeds, 100 calorie popcorn portions, etc. Keep them in your fridge, pantry and at work. Salsa and low-cal ranch dressing are a good addition for just a few calories.
I have got to have something sweet in the evening after dinner... it's a must. So I plan ahead and set aside 100-300 calories during the day for later. A glass of wine, a bit of chocolate...
For me realizing that the sweet or greasy snack I had only been craving for a FEW MOMENTS was not worth eating to sabotage the craving for a stronger fitter me I have had for YEARS.
We all have them. Mine are Pizza and Chocolate. My Success Secret is truly elimination. I know a lot of people preach moderation but if any of you are like me. I am all or nothing and I have trouble saying no to my fav's. One taste and I am lost. Don't get me wrong. I find alternatives. If I really need a taste of chocolate, I eat a piece of SF Chocolate. I can eat one of these. I don't feel that sugar rush and urge to eat more and more. If I want pizza, I eat the tops off of a couple of pieces.
Let me just say I have tried many things. WW, Adkins, South Beach Diet and just plain old eating right and exercise. NOTHING worked as well as the V3 product. I recently completed my 3 months with Weight Watchers & w/the assistance of V3 I have lost over 25lbs. I was eating healthy, walking 3 days a week and using my eliptical machine 3 days a week. I have about 25 more pounds to lose, but this time, I really am not worried. I know I'll do it.
Many times when I am having a great calorie intake day, there is a little monster who strikes - the "that is most gorgeous pizza I have ever seen" monster. What I've learned about giving into temptation is that I tell myself I can eat that on my "free" day. I let myself have one once every other week - and then I get it out of my system. In fact, next Saturday, I will be eating Chinese, Pizza, and brownies. Usually when it gets to that day I find one of those things is just enough.
For intense chocolate urges, buy UNSWEETENED hot cocoa. Store brands such as Nestle or Swiss Miss = too weak/processed. Splurge for a high-quality brand: Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa is a lifesaver.
Sometimes at night, I get a craving for something sweet. Rather than having a cookie or piece of pie or whatever other bad thing is around, I make a cup of tea. I use a sweetener that has probiotics in it, and I can add as much as I need to, in order to beat the craving. The warmth and extra sweetness of a cup of Vanilla Caramel hot tea really stop my need for eating junk!
If I ever think I am hungry, I stop and try to see why--food images, stress, upset stomach, boredom. Oftentimes it is easier to say no to food when I know why I am craving it. Failing that, I drink some water and reevaluate my hunger in 15 minutes, living in a desert makes it hard to stay hydrated at the best of times, so thirst is often misinterpreted as hunger for me.
If you get hit with a craving, or after you`ve finished eating, brush your teeth. It will get the taste of the food out of your mouth, get your mind off what you were craving and break the cycle of eating. And, it will improve your oral health!!! :D