How many times have you suddenly found yourself craving that chocolate bar or bag of potato chips, and had to stop yourself from reaching for it almost forcibly? How many times have your cravings gotten the better of you?
This article was specifically created to teach you how to prepare for, fight, and win your battles against food cravings.
1. Find A Motive That Goes More Than Skin-Deep
A pure cosmetic motive for going (and staying) on a diet, such as “I want to look fabulous in my boy shorts this summer,” is probably not going to be enough to keep you on your diet over a long period of time. You need to reinforce your resolve by finding other good reasons to stick to your new diet.
Try starting a diet and health journal, in which you keep track of not only your weight and measurements, but also your sleep quality, acne, canker sores, migraines, heartburn, or whatever other minor health problems you may have.
When your experience has shown you that your new diet has improved your health in more than one way, and improved your overall quality of life, you’ll have all the motivation you need to stick to it.
2. Improve Your Resolve With This Simple Trick
Another very common reason why people don’t stick to their diets is that long-term goals don’t seem real to us, and can be hard to focus on. Six months is a long time to watch what you eat, and if that’s the goal you set for yourself, then a single fancy coffee drink may seem to be only a minor infraction. But if those “minor infractions” happen every other day, you’re not really sticking to your diet anymore.
Instead, focus on a shorter time span. Promise yourself that you’ll eat right for a period of time short enough that you’re absolutely certain you can keep your promise, even if it’s less than a week. Once you’ve met that goal, start again with another short-term goal.
Seeing yourself succeed in meeting all these goals will prove to you that you *can* do this, and helps to draw your attention to how much better you feel now that you’re eating better, which will further encourage you to continue.
3. Move On From Your Mistakes
It’s inevitable – once in a while, you’re going to overindulge once in a while. When you do, don’t beat yourself up over it. Your diet is defined by the foods you eat on a regular basis, not by any one individual meal – not even an indulgent one. Don’t consider yourself a failure just because you went overboard *once.*
If you prefer, you might want to try this rule: After you’ve had a “cheat” meal, make sure your next five (or more) meals and snacks are healthy. That way, you can maintain a better-than-80% record of healthy eating.
4. Keep Plenty Of Healthy Snacks On Hand
Ever had a craving so strong you’ve driven to the nearest grocery store at midnight? Even if you haven’t, you’ve probably raided the fridge or pantry late at night at least a few times.
If the thing you crave is easily accessible, you’re more likely to give in and indulge your craving.
Therefore, one great way to fight back against cravings is to throw out or give away all your junk food, and keep the fridge and pantry stocked with nuts like almonds, fruit, cheese, and cans of chicken, salmon, and tuna. If you have shelves of food at work, restock them the same way.
5. Learn To Recognize False Hunger
When you find yourself craving something sweet only an hour after a meal, before you go for that snack, picture yourself sitting down to a big, hot, juicy steak instead of the food you’re craving.
If what you’re feeling is genuine hunger, the steak will still sound good to you, so you should eat (something healthy of course). If it *doesn’t* sound good, though, your brain is probably trying to trick you into indulging in an unhealthy snack.
If you’re having one of those cravings, you can combat them (and avoid giving into them) by simply changing your environment slightly. For example, change to a different work task, or take a moment to stretch at your task. Often, drinking a glass of water will also get rid of these cravings.