It’s not quite as easy as the one-two punch routine.
Hello everybody! First off, I wanted to apologize for missing a post last week. Things were crazy hectic with finals and moving back home for the summer and I just didn’t get around to sitting down and writing up a good post for you guys.
But moving on, let’s get right into the topic of today’s post: cravings. You know what I’m talking about. Those sudden urges to grab something sweet, something salty, and something that is potentially (most likely) a not so healthy choice. We’ve all been there. Heck, if you’re like me (and this may be a little TMI) you may get them about once a month. Talk about a pain in the bum right?
Now sometimes I give in. I’m human and you know what? Having that warm, chewy, gooey chocolate chip cookie is just what I need. I probably have said this in the past, but let me repeat it anyways because it’s so dang important: indulging every once in awhile is a-ok. Alright, so you’ve indulged and had that chocolate chip cookie after lunch today. So what do you do if you want one after dinner? And the next day? And the next? (This has been known to happen to me people – I’m a certified cookie monster). *Some extraneous important information concerning chocolate chip cookies – as they are my favorite and I love them oh-so-much I’m currently on the hunt for a “healthified” version of the chocolate chip cookie. If you happen to know of a recipe for me to try, let me know!*
Cravings are largely due to the brain and have less to do with the body needing certain things despite certain beliefs. So what does this mean? It means YOU have the ability to overpower your cravings. They can be brought about by smell, memories, emotions, hormones, even various psychological states. As a result, you can beat them at their own game by simply being aware of this.
Here are some top tips of what to do when they strike.
1. Distract yourself. When a craving comes along, pick a mind-intensive activity to do to keep you focused for a time. With your mind totally focused on something else – and because the area of the brain involved in cravings is the same as the area involved in concentration – you’ll forget about them.
2. Remove yourself from your current situation. This is kind of similar to #1. Sometimes where you are, what you’re in the midst of, etc. can trigger certain cravings. In certain situations, say when you’re bored watching TV at 9pm, you’re likely to reach for something without thinking about it. This becomes habitual and your brain associates 9pm TV time with snack time, even if you’re not hungry.
3. Get moving. This alone can be such a helpful tool in your toolbox to combat cravings. It also kind of goes along with #2. If you remove yourself from your current situation and go on a brisk 20 minute walk, or do something active you’ll become focused on that activity and forget about your initial craving. Plus it gets your heart pumping a little too which is always healthy!
4. Drink water. Not only is this a healthy lifestyle tip for everyday, but it can seriously squash cravings. Sometimes your body is dehydrated instead of actually hungry, that’s why I think it’s always important to drink a glass of water before you reach for anything. You may find that after you drink water you don’t need to grab whatever it is you were planning on eating.
5. Indulge – but smartly. Yes, who would I be if I didn’t include the moderation component to this? After all is said and done and you’ve tried what I’ve suggested and you STILL find yourself dreaming chocolate chip cookies – indulge. But do so smartly. Have one, take your time with it, eat slowly to taste every last delicious morsel. There’s no harm in moderation, and if you allow yourself to indulge on it you’ll have satisfied a craving and can continue on with your day.
I hope these tips help! Try them out and let me know how you get along with them 🙂
Question for the week: what do YOU usually crave?
Image credit: Image 1 (https://cezl.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/versus-oatmeal-raisin-vs-chocolate-chip-cookies/); Image 2 (http://www.yalescientific.org/2011/05/your-brain-on-food/); Image 3 (http://www.marlenewatsontara.com/how-to-combat-cravings/)