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Food Cravings and 'White Knuckling' - My Solution

Saturday, June 08, 2013

While reading and responding to the article in a fellow sparker's post, I was put in mind of many of the statements I have read in blogs and on chat threads in SparkPeople teams. . .the difficulty of avoiding unhealthy foods, resisting cravings, the well-meaning friends and family who push food at us, etc.

I have a methodology which usually works for me and thought I'd share - maybe it will help you to create a methodology that will work for you.

The article refers to 'white knuckling' - the 'grit your teeth and stay strong' approach - and correctly states that this is neither an optimal nor long term solution to controlling your food cravings / consumption and subsequent weight gain.

I do, however, practice a less severe form of 'white knuckling' which has worked for me:
I just don't let the stuff in the house. Now, I only have to deal with it when I'm out and about.

And my response when I encounter the 'bad' stuff out and about? I remind myself that the function of food is specifically for sustaining life, enjoyment is merely a side effect.

I literally ask out loud "will that food help me sustain a healthy life? what else can I have that WILL sustain a healthy life?"

While I've gotten a few odd looks, saying this out loud always stops peeps from encouraging me to have 'bad' stuff and they usually come back from the kitchen with, or find on the menu, a good alternative - for me AND for them.

Those who spend time with me now no longer push food (of any kind) at me and have made healthy changes in their own eating habits - less pressure! It's becoming a way of life.

Not to say I don't ever eat the 'bad' stuff - but it's much less often and a deliberate choice so I don't have to waste my enjoyment feeling guilty.

Just a thought. . .what will YOU do today for your health and wellbeing?

Ur Spark Neighbor, Dolly
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    "will that food help me sustain a healthy life? what else can I have that WILL sustain a healthy life?"

    I have been using a variation of your out loud statement, and it has been working pretty good. My family really thinks I'm just nuts, but that's okay. They are less offended when I choose not to eat their unhealthy foods. I'd rather be considered "the crazy one" than "the fat one" of the family!

    1775 days ago
    Great strategy.
    1811 days ago
    I have a different saying,, it rhythms so it makes me giggle,,,and others get the POINT FAST !!::::

    10 seconds on the LIPS ,,, FOREVER on the HIPS !!

    That's ENOUGH to make ME THINK "Is this REALLY WROTH IT???? usually its NOT !!!!! Than I ask myself "Am I REALLY hungry? If so, I get something HEALTHIER to eat.
    1811 days ago
    I too try to keep bad stuff out of the house. I have some luck although its tough with sweets. Good attitude you have!
    1811 days ago
    Wish I could keep the "bad" stuff out of the house..... I currently have 2 extremely skinny junk food junkies who bring stuff in or ask for it when I'm creating my shopping list.

    I'm trying to do something like you suggest by asking myself whether I am hungry - hungry enough to eat something like a chicken breast rather than a piece of cake; and, by asking how what I'm craving will create a more healthful me.

    Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't.
    1811 days ago
    I have lots of trigger foods that I can't keep in the house. I do occasionally eat them away from home where I can't keep going back for more.
    1811 days ago
    I found this very helpful. I also do not keep food in the house that will derail me. I like the questions....what else can I have that will sustain a healthy lifestyle? I am going to incorporate that more into my life. Blessings on your journey!
    1811 days ago
    Love your strategy and it really is a good one. I do something similar and don't keep the stuff in my home - but since my son lives with me, IF he wants to have stuff I don't want around, he keep it in his room clearly labeled as HIS - I don't touch his stuff and he doesn't touch the things I get for myself (mine are usually healthy). With others, I point out that I CAN have whatever I want but that I am simply not having whatever they are pushing - it really is about our own choices and our own health. Thanks for sharing - I can imagine the looks on others' faces when you say your words aloud. LOL makes me smile.
    1811 days ago
    Great post and reflection! Thank you for sharing!! I also try to keep stuff out of my house. And if I prep my snacks and lunches for the week at work, that helps me stay on track during the week.

    I got up and worked out before the kids got up. Some healthy me time to start the day.

    Hope you have a Sparktastic day!!!
    1811 days ago
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