Cravings can really derail your efforts in trying to manage your diet and lose weight. I am one of those who will have a strong craving for something sweet, and then immediately after want something salty, and sometimes even bounce back and forth with chocolates in one hand and tortilla chips in the other.
After the holidays, I realized my cravings were starting to get the best of me and I was having a hard time managing them. Even though I am a Weight Management Specialist and Personal Trainer, I am still human with the same struggles and triggers as everyone else. I knew I could do better for myself, and wasn’t happy with the way things were heading and how I was feeling about my daily food choices. I had to get my cravings in check.
I did some research and made some pretty serious changes. I cut out processed foods almost completely and focused on clean eating, cut out sugar and dairy, and went from six cups of coffee a day to one. I increased my water intake tremendously, and started using My Fitness Pal more regularly to keep my caloric intake well balanced and on target with my activity levels. I also began drinking herbal teas when I would get a craving, and started planning my meals more efficiently to help keep things on track. I have also been going to bed earlier to ensure I am getting enough of those zzzz’s as well. I am in the third week of my revamped diet and I can honestly say my cravings are a fraction of what they were when I began. I have lost a few pounds along the way as well, which makes me a bit happy 😉.
There were a few other things I had started to lose sight of, and after realizing it I knew what the other half of my problem was. I tell clients all the time, and for a good reason, that learning to listen to your body is one of the most important behavior modifications they need to make to get their eating habits under control. Listening to your body encompasses things like knowing what true hunger pangs feel like, identifying satisfaction after a meal rather than overly stuffed, and how our bodies feel and function after a meal that is healthy or rather unhealthy. These are things I was starting to ignore. With my cravings under control, I feel like it’s far easier to get back in tune with my body and its been a huge part of my success in getting and staying back on track.
Now, while some of the things I did to help me may not be the answer for you, there are a variety of ways to try and avoid craving derailment. This article features some of the changes I made, and may help you with your struggles. If you’re exercising and trying to manage your weight, diet is always the hardest part and cravings play into that struggle quite a bit.
Motivation, goals, commitment and self-forgiveness are essential to your success as well. So keep working at whatever your health and fitness goals are, and if you make the commitment to reaching your goals and ACT on it with the right approach, success will be in your future.