Sometimes, you just can’t help it, the cravings start and it’s so easy to give in to temptation. Your body can handle caving into your cravings once and a while, your metabolism should be able to handle a one off snack attack but when you find yourself reaching for the chips, chocolate or fizzy drink each night when you watch TV; then it’s working against the hard work you’re putting in and you’ll never see the results you’re after.
There is no point in worrying about it once it’s done, the anxiety and stress of just eating a whole cake will compound the problem by increasing your cortisol levels so don’t stress. Accept that you didn’t make the best choice for your waist (even though it tasted so good) and remember that it’s what you do next that matters.
Here are a few tools to take control of those cravings.
Clear out the temptations. If there are only healthy options in the cupboard or your fridge, then the things you do go for aren’t going to be as bad. Spring clean your kitchen and get rid of the junk and processed food. Replace it with lean proteins, complex carbs and good fats; as well as lots of veggies. There are so many healthy treats and recipes all over the internet for you to try. Just be mindful that when you find that healthy alternative, it is still a treat so keep your portion sizes appropriate.
When you’re feeling like a snack, take a deep breath and ask yourself are you really hungry? Or, are you upset, bored or simply just tired? If it is for any of these reasons then you’re not really hungry. Take your mind off it, go for a walk, listen to some music or talk to a friend.
Exercise! When you feel a moment of weakness coming on, when your sweet tooth is kicking in or those salty chips are calling, train! Exercising is such a great way to distract your body and reset your mental state.
Drink more water! Make sure you’re hydrated. Often when we feel hungry we are actually thirsty! When your body is dehydrated, hormones trigger hunger sensations to get you to eat so you can absorb water from the food. Remember, stick to water or tea; the worst thing you can do for hunger-thirst is drink soft drink and alcohol! These will only dehydrate you more! Dehydration also slows down your metabolism.
Get some rest. Sleep will assist in controlling your appetite. Sleep deprivation disrupts the appetite hormones. In order to restore the chemical balance your body will crave sugary foods to give you that instant hit of serotonin, which you deprived yourself through lack of sleep. Exercise is the best way to reset and regulate your body clock. Activity increases oxygen in the blood and circulation to wake you up fresh so that by bedtime you will be sleepy.
If you are doing everything and you still can’t crush your cravings, then try reflecting on your goals, consider what it is that you want most. It is up to you to reach down deep and decide that you will not let a temporary craving stand in between you and your goals. Believe in yourself and choose to be strong because you are worth it.