As I write this, I have been craving a juicy, cheesy, oh so naughty cheeseburger for about 2 weeks now. With fries on the side, topped with chocolate sauce, and Cheetos as an entree. Am I pregnant with weird ass food cravings? No I am not (don’t worry honey if you read this, still perfectly busy with the first little rug rat).
It happens (about once a month funnily enough… ladies, …you feel me) where I have the biggest cravings for all that is bad for me, which I’ve branded as “the naughties”. I feel like a bottomless pit as I fantasize about stuffing that entire block of cheddar into my already-full-of-M&M’s gobbler.
Being one of those hypocrites who can hand out the advice, but not necessarily stick to it myself, I thought to share some useful tips with the attempt to motivate myself to do the same.
1) What’s not there, can’t be eaten
Try and not have junk food in the house where possible. Sometimes craving that bag of chips or chocolate bar can be suppressed quite quickly when you realise you’d have to get out of your slippers and Snoopy pyjamas in order to go to the corner store. If the craving is really THAT bad, you end up walking to the store in set attire whilst most people stare and then well… you pretty much deserve a little bite of that naughty…. for the commitment and dedication.
2) Identify the naughties and their triggers
Find out what exactly you tend to crave when you crave a naughty. Is it McDonalds, chocolate, chips, sweets, all of the above? And are there any triggers that come along with it? Some people often lean towards junk food when they are bored, sleep deprived, drunk, emotionally distressed or when a drop in blood sugar levels occurs. Try and find other solutions to these triggers… get some rest, have some fruit juice or have a mini work-out to get rid of any excess stress.
3) Find alternatives to the naughties
Are there any alternatives for your particular naughty food? For example, if you really like the crunching of chips in front of Grey’s Anatomy, why not opt for (unsalted and unbuttered) popcorn instead? If you must have that chocolate fix, opt for 70% or more cacao dark chocolate. And if McDonalds secretly calls you over, a cup of Miso Soup might get rid of your craving for a salty kick.
4) Don’t starve yourself
Some of us (and by that I mean me) tend to skip some meals during the day because there are no real hunger pangs and you think “oh well… less calories for the day right?” Wrong. Your body goes into starvation mode as blood sugar levels go down and those hunger pangs catch up with you as you find yourself hunting the house for food. Usually that food turns into fast food or something easy (and often less healthy). So eat during the day to avoid the hunger beast later where you find yourself standing in front of an open fridge in the middle of the night eating its entire content (feels like)
5) Moderation of the naughties
If you really can’t fight the urge any longer and your dog is starting to look like a Big Mac or you’re a heartbeat away from just squirting the mayonnaise straight into your mouth… It’s ok to cave in and indulge once in a while!! But when you do, try and do it in moderation. Order a small meal at your favourite junk food palace, only have a small bowl of chips or ice cream (don’t put the entire bag in your lap… it will get finished, I guarantee it) and have only a few blocks from your big chocolate bar. Really take your time to enjoy and savour every bite and you might just be able to push the craving down again with that little bit of satisfaction.
6) Have healthy snacks handy
If one of your triggers is that you’re bored or too busy to make a healthy meal; try and prep some food for the week that is healthy and easy to just grab out of the fridge. For example, cut up some vegetables and have a lower calorie dip ready to go. Or to avoid feeling like a rabbit munching on a stick of celery, smear a little peanut butter on top (delish!). Popcorn can be pre-popped and stored in a container for the munchies and even some vegetable or fruit juice can help silence that sweet tooth.
7) I like to move it, move it
Doing exercise can bring up your blood sugar levels and kill any boredom. Going for a small walk after a meal can decrease some of the cravings that might come after (and get your metabolism going as well).
8) Eat a high protein breakfast
Having a high protein breakfast like eggs, nuts, seeds help you feel fuller, starts your metabolism, cut short cravings and burn calories. Seems like a winner! But if you’re anything like me your efforts into making a nice fulfilling breakfast usually stop once you’ve brewed that first cup of coffee. (Correction: Once you’ve pressed the ‘on’ button and your Dolce Gusto Machine brewed your first cup of coffee). Alternatively, if you really can’t be bothered, have a protein shake and a boiled egg (which you pre-boiled a few days ago along with 5 other friends, one for each day of the workweek).
Hope some of these help as I leave you now to go off to the store to by some freakin’ Miso soup and celery sticks!