One of the topics I hear women talk about all the time is CRAVINGS!! Whether you are 25, 55, 75 or 105 we all have cravings. It really starts to get crazy during PMS, Menopause, and periods of extreme stress. I decided to attack my cravings in a different way. I know all about the different herbs and foods we can take to help with our cravings (in fact that will be my next blog) but how do we beat the mind game that goes along with our cravings.
I have tried these suggestions for two weeks and they are working. We really start to get well, get fit, even lose weight when we take control of our thoughts. We have chatter that is constantly going on in our heads. But we truly do have the capacity and the ability to change our thoughts. ALL of our thoughts are within our control. So that being said...here is what I do to control my thoughts and ultimately all those unhealthy CRAVINGS!!
- STAY REGULAR - I have gone back to having regular mealtimes. When I was raising my children this was easy to do. We had to have a regular eating schedule. Raising four daughters dictates that you be organized so every meal was served at the same time every day. Now that I am an empty nester I have found that my eating has gotten very irregular. I skip meals, I eat at weird times, I basically don't have a schedule. Now I do. I eat breakfast at 7a, snack at 10a, lunch at 1p, snack at 3p, and dinner at 7:00p. I am not a calorie counter but I make sure I eat a substantial breakfast and lunch. My dinner is almost always a big salad. Since I have been on this schedule I have found my cravings have begun to stop. I tell my mind to tell my body this "I am feeding my body what it needs and as much as it needs. I am full and satisfied. My cravings are gone". After awhile my body is believing this and if I get a craving I remind myself that I have already eaten and my body doesn't need it.
- BACK AWAY FROM THE COOKIES... - I find that as long as I don't buy cookies, cracker, chips, ice cream etc. I don't eat them. Whenever I go to visit one of my girls, their cabinet are full of all kinds of sugary and salty snacks ( what can I say they are young and all size "0" they'll get it one day) and before I know it I am partaking of these awful snacks. I can't seem to help myself. But as soon as I return home, since those foods aren't around I don't eat them. When you go shopping don't go down those isles in the grocery store that have all of those sugary and salty snacks. Instead have your list of foods you need to get to prepare healthy snacks. I will be sharing more on healthy snacks in my future blogs. Don't have these salty and sugary snacks in your car, office,lunch bag, purse, or gym bag ...just plain don't buy them!! Can't eat them if they aren't around! Out of site out of mind.
- SNACK TIME WITH BENEFITS - schedule a regular snack time and then choose healthy snacks. I love this healthy snack recipe from Tanya Zuckerbrot of foxnews.com. "Get the same taste sensation with whole grain pita bread, cut into wedges, lightly sprayed with cooking spray, sprinkled with salt or dried herbs, and toasted crispy brown" Stay tuned for more healthy snacks ideas on this blog and also get my "Eating The Rainbow Cookbook" that also has great snack ideas. Click here ...its's FREE
- DO SOMETHING ELSE - My cravings come at weird times. Sometimes right after I have eaten. I know intellectually that my body doesn't need the food, I am just having one of those "out of control of my thoughts" moment. So I take back control and do something else. Call a friend, put on some music, read a book, go for a walk, drink water with lemon, watch a movie, get on the internet, write in my journal, anything but give into that craving. Does it take a bit of discipline, YES! But guess what, it works after a while the craving is just GONE!
- POSITIVE SELF TALK - "as we thinketh so shall we be" I find that I need to change my self-talk when it comes to cravings. I tell myself that I only eat what is good for my body. I also tell myself that the cravings I have that I know are unhealthy are passing and will leave. I visualize myself eating healthy, putting only good things in my body. I congratulate myself on already being successful in my quest to stop craving and to eat only food that is healthy for my body.
- DREADED SUGAR CRAVINGS -I don't crave sugar often but when I do I increase my water, eat a teaspoon of cinnamon, or suck on fennel seeds. I also know that increasing your Omega 3 intake is helpful as well as taking gymnema sylvestre or chronium
It is okay every so often to eat a cookie or have as slice of pie. Life is meant to be enjoyed. It becomes a problem when eating the cakes, cookies, cracker and chips are a stand in for loneliness, unhappiness, frustration, anger, boredom or some other emotional issue. If you find that you cravings and continual snacking is rooted in something emotional seek help. There are many counselors and therapist that can help you. Click here for possible sources that can provide assistance.