The culprit? Cravings, with a capital C.
Don’t beat yourself up. Heck, sometimes it’s good to give in to your cravings – in moderation. Here are a few tips to help keep cravings at bay when they come knocking again.
1. Play the waiting game. Since most cravings disappear within 10-15 minutes, try to find an activity to forget your fattening friend. If you find something to occupy your time, chances are you’ll forget about the craving altogether. Clean out your shoe closet (to make room for more, of course), call a friend, take a quick walk, read a good book – you get the idea.
2. Don’t skip meals. Oftentimes, uncontrollable cravings are the result of real hunger. When your body goes for long periods of time without fuel, it’s more difficult to make good eating decisions. That’s when you cave. Instead of choosing a sensible salad for lunch, you’ve binged on vending machine food because you just couldn’t take the hunger for one more second. When you eat three meals a day and drink plenty of water, your cravings will be less likely to surface.
3. Stop dieting. Yep, you just read that. Willpower will only take you so far. Eating mostly nourishing and healthy foods, controlling your portions and doing some real sweat-inducing exercise is the path to lasting weight loss. You don’t have to be 100% perfect all the time. Your goal should be a healthy trend, not adherence to overly strict, no-exception rules. That’s why it’s A-OK to treat yourself once in a while. You deserve it!
4. No more eating in front of the TV. Sometimes it’s hard to stop and have a meal at the table, but if you eat in front of the television, chances are you’ll get so caught up in the next catfight, sports highlight or news story that you’ll lose track of how much food you’ve actually consumed. Make your eating mindful and pleasurable, not a background activity.
The bottom line? Cravings will never disappear, but with these tips you can keep them manageable.