Monday, February 4, 2013

Do Cravings Ever Go Away?

Everybody has moments when they crave something sweet, spicy, salty, or crunchy. I have even had times when I crave foods higher in fat. The problem with cravings is that they hinder our diet plan and weight loss efforts.

Night time cravings can be the worst of all because you can have a day of sticking 100% to your plan and then the clock strikes 7 PM and you have an uncontrollable urge to eat pizza, chips or anything salty or sweet. Cravings can be triggered by hormones fluctuating or emotions. Experience with my own behaviors and those of clients have taught me that many times it is a habit and habits can be changed, even emotional habits.

Cravings go away one of two ways: either when you decide to definitely give in to it, OR when you decide definitely not to give in to it. At worst, a craving might last 15 minutes, but it will go away MUCH more quickly if you distract yourself.

For me, when I’m craving a food there is a sense of anxiety attached to it (will I give in? will I go for the food?). The moment I decide one way or the other, the craving starts to diminish and I need to tell myself that.

If you decide to give in to the craving, it starts to go away even before you put food in your mouth because the anxiety related to having to made the decision goes away.

Many times snacking is due to feelings of sadness or a generally unpleasant mood. Something may have come up at work that you felt was unfair and when you get home you grab something sweet to soothe the stress you are feeling. Did those few bites of food help your situation at work? NO!

3 Essential Steps To Take When You Have A Craving: 

1. Label it. Tell yourself. "This is just a craving, it doesn't mean I have to give in. Just because I want to eat this right now doesn't mean I should. This feeling will pass".

2. Firmly make the decision to NOT give in. You made a plan, now stick to it.

3. Distract yourself. The moment your attention is on something else is the moment the craving will start to go away. CRAVINGS ALWAYS GO AWAY!

       Things to try to distract yourself:

  • Look up a healthy recipe 
  • Check emails 
  • Do a home improvement project 
  • Take a bath or shower 
  • Polish your nails/toes 
  • Find an online support 
  • Search the internet for interesting vacation spots  
  • Take a walk 
  • Check out ebay for some great bargains 
  • Call a friend 
  • Read to your children 
  • Drink a low-calorie beverage 
  • Play a game on your phone 
  • Plan your next 3 days meals
  • Organize your office
Every single time you have a craving you have the opportunity to strengthen your resistance muscle. Like lifting weights, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

If you would like the support of a health coach during your weight loss plan, contact me. I’m only an email away.


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