Fighting cravings when you are following a diet program can be difficult. When we feel hungry or crave certain foods, it is hard to concentrate on anything else. If you give in, you’ll not only risk adding calories and pounds, you’ll also feel bad that you didn’t follow your diet.
The first and most important thing to remember when fighting cravings is that slip-ups happen. You will give in to your urge every once in awhile; just don’t do it at every meal. Start by keeping a journal with one page dedicated to your cravings. Write down what it is you crave then brainstorm about different foods that are better to snack on that might help eliminate that particular craving.
Also, jot down a few ideas of what you can do to take your mind of the craving, like walking your dog, watching a favorite television show, talking to a friend on the phone or even simply chewing gum. You can also make it a game: every time you have the craving, look up a funny joke on the Internet or give yourself a smiley face sticker because you aren’t going to give in.
You can also write down what emotions you feel when you are having a craving. Sometimes cravings occur because we are feeling insecure, scared or sad about something completely unrelated to the food, but we use the food to mask or hide those feelings. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you’re feeling to the fullest extent. Sit in a quiet room and simply allow yourself to be sad, for example. Too often, we don’t recognize how much our emotions play a part in what we eat and how much we eat. Over time, this might help in your battle of fighting cravings and make you better at listening to yourself.
When the craving occurs, consult your journal to remind yourself about what you can eat and things you can do to curb the craving. Start by drinking water. Sometimes, all your body wants is some water, but it comes across as a food cravings. Allow yourself to snack on healthier alternatives, and then work on making your brain focus on something different. Sometimes it is simply our brains trying to convince us, and getting stuck on an idea, that makes it hard to succeed in fighting cravings.
If all else fails, allow yourself to have a tiny portion of whatever it is you want. That might be just enough to convince yourself to stop thinking about it. In the end, our diets can’t consume our every waking moment. If they are too strict and rigid, we will fail. Allow yourself to give in to some urges when you are fighting cravings, or else you will get so tired of fighting with yourself that you will go over the deep end. Reward yourself for any successes, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Keep a record in your journal of all your successes so you can refer to them when you’re feeling down, and remember, dieting is a process and a way of making ourselves healthier now and well into the future; it doesn’t happen overnight.