One of my greatest problems with the control of my weight is the fact that so much self disipline is needed to achieve any tangible results. Ah, but I hear you saying, “Whats new about that” We all have that problem! Tell us something new!
Well yes we do all know that that is the biggest problem is it not. Lets face it, eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and we would be pretty abnormal if this was otherwise.
After all, most of us are “regular” people. How many of us stick to the perfect diet all the time, we all have our struggles with food to a greater or lesser extent. If we can recognize an awareness of this problem, and also make a point of knowing a little bit about our health, and also proper food nutrition, we are then much more likely to make wiser decisions about our choices of food.
Many people struggle with food “cravings,” and reasearch tells us that it is fairly common for food “cravings” to occur at certain times, quite often around bedtime. Your guard may be down, or you may have had an unusually hard day, and off you go on your not-so-merry way, intent on finding that tasty treat. Fatigue and stress often combine to take their toll on the best of intentions, so please don’t worry about it, rest assured you are not alone.
When food “cravings” are out of control, what started out as a bedtime snack, quickly turns into a full blown feeding frenzy…not something most of us fully understand or appreciate. We head to the kitchen and every other possible place where food can hide, quickly clearing a path as we go.
Most food cravings are not about satisfying a nutritional need or imbalance. They seem to be more emotionally related, or God forbid, are caused by plain old gluttony. Exactly why we over-indulge is not completely understood, however our knowledge about this subject continues to grow.
These Are Some Of My Thoughts On How To Control Food Cravings.
If the food isn’t available, you can’t eat it. Empty the cookie jar and keep it that way! Keep healthy food choices on-hand.
It is important to recognize the feelings and emotions that will lead to a food craving. Do you have food cravings when you’re bored, or maybe you are feeling lonely, or is it stress that is the trigger. If you can identify the trigger which leads to that craving, then you are half way to winning the battle, because you will be able to deal with the emotion that is making you desire a certain food.
Sometimes, even recognizing that a craving is about to happen doesn’t seem to help, but please do not give yourself a hard time about it, what is done is done, do not feel guilty because after all there is always tomorrow. Why not call one of your friends and share how you were feeling at that time, because it is a very good idea to make good use of your support network.
Self-control and discipline by themselves will not cut it! If you depend totally on yourself for control, you will fail. Forming caring and supportive relationships is really essential, so if you do not currently have a support network, start building one TODAY.
Get enough sleep. When you are feeling really tired, you are more likely to crave things, and with me personally, it is usually chocolate, possibly you are the same.
Never give up. When you go off the rails, do not despair, get a grip, do whatever is necessary to re-gain control, because you really must get that control back. Try to practice restraint most of the time, but do not get obsessed and un-balanced in your weight loss approach. Think moderation and not total abstinence at all times!
Exercise. This will increase the feel good endorphins that will help cut down on your cravings. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. I hear so many people say that they just cannot fit in any excerise, believe me you can, we are talking about 30 minutes here, at the worst, it will mean you will have to get out of bed that bit earlier.
An early morning brisk walk will do wonders for the spirit and the soul, and will help set you up for the rest of the day!
Use moderation. Instead of stuffing yourself with every kind of food hoping that your cravings will disappear, eat 100 to 200 calories of whatever it is that you happen to be craving for at at that particular moment in time, but you must stop it at that!
Substitute with low-fat foods and complex carbs. If you’re hungry for chocolate, eat non-fat chocolate yogurt or mousse, or try fig bars or raisins for a sweet craving instead. You will be amazed at how this will help.
You must try and never skip a meal. It is much wiser to eat something if even only an apple, every three to five hours. Try six smaller meals, or regular meals with nutritious snacks in between.
Try and remember that hunger cravings are very frequently stress related. Practice other ways to cope with stress, a walk in the park for example, spiritual connections, a cozy fireplace, or even take a bath. You see, all of these stimulate neurochemicals that activate regions of the brain which increases a feeling of well being. Relaxation techniques really can be beneficial in reducing the levels of stress which you may be experiencing.
So the bottom line is to try and substitute pleasurable experiences for comfort foods.
Beware of certain medications which can stimulate your appetite. Certain drugs which are used for the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder can be appetite stimulants. Other drugs, both prescription and over the counter, may influence appetite as well. If you are on a medication and troubled by food cravings, discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist. You may well be able to find an alternative that doesn’t send your food cravings out of control.
Distract yourself. What’s that old expression…idle hands are the devils workshop, so get busy! Do anything other than give in to your desire for food, and keep doing it until the cravings subside.
One final thought for you. Take a look inside your refrigerator and kitchen cabinets and do some general “house cleaning.” Throw-out all that unhealthy stuff that is waiting to sabotage your diet, and start shopping more wisely. A little forethought and careful planning will go a long way for improving your chances of success.
One of my golden rules is that I NEVER go shopping when I am hungry! Absolutely fatal!
So to conclude, remember that control is the key, eat healthily and in moderation at all times, but do not forget that at the end of the day you are only human. If you do give in to temptation, don’t beat yourself up about it, tomorrow is another day, live long, enjoy your life, and most of all be happy!