How to deal with cravings? Well, that’s been tough for me since I started my healthy lifestyle journey about two years ago. Many of the tips I found online weren’t really working for me. Most of the tips are about working out, watching your diet and basically restricting yourself even more. In my experience cravings are bad habits we taught ourselves, which are now controlling us. Therefor my tips are based on replacing a bad habit, in this case cravings with a good habit. I really like the outcome of these tips for myself and I hope they’ll help you too, let’s go!
When you want to lose weight it’s probably because you ate too much of the foods that make you fat. In my case it started with eating out of stress. After a busy and stressful day, I would ‘reward’ myself with snacks. Especially cookies and brownies, I love those! They made me feel ‘better’ and it was a real treat. At first, I was the one in control of when I would reward myself. After a while my brain took over and I started to crave cookies and brownies every day. The cravings got worse, I kept eating and I started gaining weight.
Cravings aren’t always a bad thing though. You can crave fruit, vegetables, meat or salty food. Those are mostly healthy foods your body needs to keep itself healthy. Cravings for bad food are usually coming from bad habits, because our bodies don’t crave sweets and snacks naturally. When you have cravings for bad foods, it’s probably a bad habit your brain is now using every day to make you feel better, or to help cope with bad things in your life. Therefore, in my experience, it’s a good thing to regain control over your brain and the cravings.
What makes you feel bad?
We often get cravings after a bad day or stressful situations. We often don’t even realize that those things trigger our cravings. My first tip is to find out and understand what is making you feel bad. This way you can find out what triggers the cravings. In my case is mostly stressful days or frustrating situations. when I get frustrated, I definitely feel like having a cookie… or five. I now know that stress and frustration can be my triggers, which helps me deal with them much better. Find out what bothers you and why it triggers your cravings.
Reflect on your day
This has been very helpful to me, because my cravings tend to come up when I’m stressed or frustrated. When I feel like this I often find myself feeling like my life sucks! I start focusing on everything that went bad, instead of everything that went well. It’s a habit a lot of people seem to have, but it also triggers cravings and eating bad foods. Reflecting on my day at night helps me to keep a better perspective on life. Which helps me with not feeling stressed all the time and so I have less cravings, whoohoo!
I’m not a talker or a crier. I hate talking about my feelings and I’d rather go to the gym and work it out, literally. But that doesn’t always put my life in perspective like I need it to be. So now I use an app called Reflectly, which helps me reflect on my day within ten minutes. It asks me how my day was, how I felt and what I can do to make my next day better. It’s so easy to use and seeing my day in front of me, let’s me know it wasn’t that bad at all. I also love how it gets rid of stress and frustration in just a couple of minutes. I don’t have to talk because I can just type my stress away and it helps with the cravings a lot!
Do something productive
How to deal with cravings you ask? Well, cravings are often a bad habit that your brain seems to control. But we can also take back control by replacing a bad habit with a good one. I often get annoyed when I’m editing a video and something doesn’t work. I start craving cookies pretty fast. So I’ve learned to just close my laptop and do something completely else, like doing the dishes. Sounds boring, but it helps me a lot.
You see, I take myself from a stressful situation that makes me crave cookies. I make myself focus on a productive task, like doing the dishes or cleaning up. It’s usually something that needs to happen anyway. It makes me feel productive and better because my house is cleaner. I also get to focus on something totally else and it often makes me forget all about my cravings. When I finish my productive task, I feel much better and I can get back to my laptop and finish my video without cravings. Give it a try, you’ll love this one!
Eat more protein
This one is a good tip for people who not only have cravings, but also follow the Keto diet. My tip is to simply eat a little more protein. Have some boiled eggs ready or slide some salmon in the oven. You can also fry some chicken, eat some pre-made beef sticks or eat some smoked salmon. Protein fills you up really fast and it will make you feel very satisfied quickly. It takes my cravings away pretty fast and I need some extra protein on the Keto diet anyway. You don’t have to eat Keto style for this tip by the way, you can have some extra protein whenever you want.
I deal with cravings so much better because of my dinner dates. Yes, I tend to plan a dinner every two or three weeks. I go on healthy streaks in between and I love it! You see, I eat Keto style for two or three weeks and then I go out for a nice dinner. I go by myself or with friends. I take the time to enjoy my favorite restaurants and dishes. I have fun with friends and actually take the time to taste my food. I put my phone away and it’s all about fun and food during my dinner dates.
This tip helps me to deal with cravings because it gives me a goal I can work towards. One dinner doesn’t get you fat overnight, don’t worry about that! It does help you focus on something fun: Food! Because food should be fun, even when you are trying to deal with cravings in order to create a healthier lifestyle. I think you should associate food with something positive like friends, fun and actually enjoying the taste. Not just with those gnarly cravings and restricting yourself all the time. So go ahead, plan yourself a dinner date!
Have the cookie
Yeah, that’s right! I’m telling you to have the cookie. Why? Mell, many people don’t know that our brains can be quite tricky. I learned during psychology lessons that when you tell yourself you can’t have something, you want it even more! No wonder why people who go on diets, fall of the wagon even faster and end up binging. Our brains are very powerful and somethings it’s a good thing to work with your brain, instead of working against it.
I’m not saying you should give into every craving and keep eating those cookies. I’m saying that when you really can’t deal with it, it could be good to sometimes go along with your brain. Have one or two cookies, give yourself some peace of mind and move on. It’s better than obsessing over whatever it is your fighting not to eat. It’s often better to ease yourself into new habits, then going cold turkey only to stress out and fail time and time again.
Dealing with cravings isn’t just exercise and restricting yourself, it’s much deeper than that. I hope that these tips will help you out, like they helped me. Let me know in the comments if you like one or more of these tips. And if you have one of your own, let me know too because I can always use some more, haha!