4 Tips To Control Those Cravings (and they might not be what you expect).
Back when I worked in my previous career as a police officer, I had a pretty tight schedule. I worked the afternoon shift for the majority of my career which was 2pm to 11pm. I was up at 8 or 9am, got my workout in, prepped my meals for the day/week, went to work, came home, chilled for a bit and then went to bed around 1am. On days off, my schedule was a bit more flexible but when it came to meals and workouts, I would pretty much keep to that same schedule. Once I retired myself, and began my entrepreneurial journey, things changed quite a bit. My schedule was not nearly as structured, and I started noticing a shift in my habits. Even thought I had the time, I found it was a lot more work then I thought to manage it WELL for myself. And this is when I noticed a change in my eating habits. All of a sudden I was munching way more than usual. I found myself grabbing more sugary snacks then I ever had before (I was never a sugar girl). When I would get stressed, I would head to the pantry to grab something to eat (This was also a great tactic when I was procrastinating). The funny thing (or not so funny) was, I had NEVER had these types of habits before. So what was going on? And what does this have to do with "4 Tips to Control Your Cravings" you ask? Well, I''m so glad you did! Because this first tip is one that I think is the most important: Tip #1 = Getting to the real WHY behind your "random" eating habits/cravings. The next 3 steps are super important....but if we don't get thisone down, we will mess up the others as well. When you find yourself snacking late at night, grabbing food randomly, or whatever your personal craving issues are, it's never random. Especially if it is something you haven't struggled with before. In my own scenario, not having a structure to my days was bringing more stress into my life (eating trigger). Lack of structure for me was also causing me to procrastinate on things I needed to do because I would become overwhelmed (eating trigger). I could keep going, but the root of my issues, MY personal trigger, was lack of structure. And once I got that in place, nutrition started to fall back in line for me. So instead of beating yourself up, stop and think about where your cravings are REALLY coming from. Get to the WHY, that's your first goal! (We are going to do a whole series on this one coming up here soon) Tip #2 - Have a plan! I know this isn't sexy and you are sooooo over hearing about meal planning, but i'm just being real with ya. When we don't have a plan for our meals, we tend to just grab what's handy. And let's be real....what's handy is rarely what's healthy. Am I right? Now I get it, you don't want to fight with Tupperware or spend all day on Sunday cooking meals. And if that's not your thing, no worries. But having a plan can be as simple as having a menu planned out for your week so you aren't left to last minute choices. Here is a good, better, best for meal planning:
Best - Plan your meals a week in advance. Again, you don't have to have it all cooked and ready to go, but at least have your meals planned out and written down.
Better - Plan at least 3 days of meals in advance and then on day 3, plan the next 3 days of meals.
Good - Plan your meal the night before. Try to, at the very least, know what you are having for tomorrow. Get those items set up the night before and then your good. Take it one day at a time.
Worst! - On the fly the day of. This is when the bad choices happen because we usually tend to eat based on emotion. Feeling stressed, ice cream for dinner sounds like just the thing to make it all better!
Tip #3 - Don't keep trigger foods in the home! - This is a big one for me which is why I don't keep anything crunchy or salty in my house (potato chips are the devil). Because if it's there, and I am not on my "A" game, then I am pretty much going to eat it. This takes some discipline but is a great option. Because when the mood hits...and it will...the naughty food is not there for you to grab and gives you time to stop, check yourself, think about WHY you are craving it (remember #1), and then grab something healthy instead. If it's not there, you can't eat it. ;-) Tip #4 - If you HAVE to violate rule 3, and have it in the house, then choose single servings! - One of the arguments I have had before is "I have kids so I need to have goodies in the home for them". So in this type of scenario having single servings or "100 calorie packs" is a good way to keep your serving sizes to a respectable level. :-) Most times, a small taste is all you really need anyway. So this way you can have your cake...but just a bite. I know this is a hot topic for so many of you and these 4 are the top things that I start with when I really want to work on my craving struggles. So how about you? Which one of these do you struggle with the most? I've got your back on this. :-) Committed to your success,