The goodies of the Holidays are hard to resist. Now that the holidays are almost over how do you stop your body from wanting more of those goodies you ate? How do you stop the mid-afternoon, evening or all-day cravings?
First, it may help to understand your body. Our body thrives on routine and wants us to eat at the same times. The fat and sugar in many goodies satisfies our tests preferences. Thus, our body actually opposes us when we make changes in the way we eat.
There is hope! Although our body likes the goodies and constant eating, we just have to replace with good habits and follow them. Every time you resist temptations you set up a pattern to resist the next one. Each time you eat a healthy meal, one you planned to eat at a set time, you start up a positive eating cycle. So, if you have not been a breakfast eater and start eating breakfast every morning, before long your body will desire breakfast everyday. You can make your body work for you.
When you are hungry try to eat a healthy food instead of candy or left over cookies. Eat an apple or orange. By eating a healthy food you actually weaken your urge to eat the high-calorie treats when you are “starving.” It will probably be hard at first, but it does work
Don’t watch the food commercials or the food channel on television when you have low resistance. Turn pages quickly in magazines when you see food or recipes. It’s hard to resist tempting foods when we smell them too. So, breathe through you mouth when you are around tempting foods.
By eating regular meals and snacks you can avoid being very hungry which will help decrease your cravings for certain foods. Setting up this planned meal and snacks routine will help as your body likes structure. Your body will be less likely to encourage you to break the rules.
You can use the tapping technique which has been proven to work to help people resist cravings. Place your five fingers of one hand on your forehead. Tap each finger in turn at intervals of one second while watching each one carefully as it taps. Keep repeating until the craving disappears. Other suggestions when trying to stop a craving include tell yourself “not today” and wait 15-20 minutes while you call a friend, chew a piece of sugar-free gum, brush your teeth, drink a glass of water, go for a walk or meditate. Keep a record of your thoughts and feelings leading to the craving and what methods worked best.
Starting some healthier habits can be hard. One way is to make it a gradual transition from the old way to the new healthier way. Give yourself some time but remember that each time you resist or change to eating healthier you are making progress.
Roberts, S. and Sargent, B.K. (2009). The Instinct Diet, Tufts Media., Medford, MA.
USDA website, Choose My Plate available at http://www.choosemyplate.com