Saturday, December 3, 2016

Cravings! What to do??

Let's talk CRAVINGS! Often we crave certain foods that we associate with certain times of day, or year or with certain occasions. When Christmas comes around, how many times do you find yourself grabbing something you don't bother with the rest of the year? Like Terry's Chocolate Orange? Who eats those in June? But come December, tons of people HAVE to have them!

For me, I have a late night sweet tooth. I find it damn near impossible to watch a movie or TV show at night without a sweet snack. Maybe for you it's drink with the girls on the weekend. Or pizza with your significant other on Friday night. Whatever it is, these associations between activities and food can trigger cravings. Stress and fatigue can also trigger major cravings, particularity for sugary foods, quick digesting carbs and fats.

Since we can't stop stress or fatigue entirely, and we don't want to skip every event, how the heck can we tackle cravings?? Here are some tricks I use:

1) Get plenty of rest, drink water and minimize stress. These three things are your first line of defense against cravings and they also increase your willpower.

2) Change up your routine. For me, that might look like not watching TV at night so I don't have that urge to snack. If your weekend brunch with the girls always turns into mimosas and bloody marys, try suggesting a walking date this weekend instead. Break the habit before you hit the craving.

3) Distract yourself. Grab a glass of water. Call a friend. Pick up a book. Go for a walk. Anything that gets you out of the craving space will help you resist your craving. Plan to fit the craving in (I don't believe in deprivation) but challenge yourself to hold off until you've fit it into your eating plan. This can help retrain your mind to think of food as fuel, not reward or comfort.

5) Find a healthier alternative. So have I mentioned I have a late night sweet tooth?? Enter protein ice cream! Both from the store (brands include Arctic Zero, Halo Top and Wink) and home made (Shakeology turns into a great homemade ice cream!). This satisfies my ice cream craving without ruining my hard work. Protein mug cupcakes are another option, or sweet protein bars like Quest bars. If you are more of a savory-craver, try air popped popcorn, Quest protein chips, or reduced fat cheese.

4) Plan a treat meal. You will never hear me say Cheat Meal because that implies that you are doing something wrong and food is neither wrong nor right! But we all have our favorite foods that are a little more indulgent than we would normally eat. Plan for it. If you know your have a date night on Friday, stick to your eating plan 100% all week, focus on protein and veggies throughout the day on Friday, along with tons of water and get a bit of extra exercise in that day. The next day just go back to normal eating and working out. One meal won't kill you! And knowing you can indulge once in a while makes it much easier to resist your cravings the rest of the time.

Who else has great tips for battling cravings?

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