We all have our
weaknesses and temptations. For me there's one thing I still find it hard to
avoid; and I'm guessing I'm not the only one. It's hard to tell if it's years of
habit, the ready availability of this temptation, or a genuine demand from my
brain, but come mid-afternoon I automatically can think of one thing –
I want it, I need
it, I must have it.
And so I do. Or at
least, I used to.
You might not be a
chocoholic, but I'll bet you've experienced some sort of temptation; and whether
it's a regular urge or not, the fact is that when those feelings of desire
overwhelm you it can be difficult to resist.
But here's the good
news - just as you can learn how to still your mind and wait just one, two,three, even ten seconds longer before giving up on that tough set in the
gym, you can also learn how to overcome those sweet cravings and wait those
extra minutes or hours until the sense of urgency has passed.
Stop the Cravings Before they Show Up
Many of my clients
– even the healthy eaters – rely heavily on carbohydrates in preference to
proteins and fats; however, protein and fat are a crucial part of your diet,
because they form the building blocks of your hormonal system, and without them
your body cannot perform all it’s metabolic duties.
When you don’t
include natural, whole sources of protein and fat in your main meals, or only do
so from time to time, your body starts sending distress signals telling your
brain to get nutrition immediately.
sugar is what you’ll crave because it provides a quick fix (followed by a quick
slump leading to further cravings). Therefore, if you lay the foundations by
including protein and fat at breakfast and lunch, the sugar cravings will
2. Remove Temptation or Remove Yourself
The bottom line is that all too often it is too easy to dip into the biscuit jar
or sweets bag when everyone else is doing it.
So clear your office space of
those sweet devils or if that’s impossible then at mid-afternoon munchie time
YOU steer clear of that area yourself. Even
if it means you have to sit in the toilet cubicle for 15 minutes.
If you work
from home, keep a rule of no sweets in the house. That way you’ll have to make
the effort to go out, and this is easier to talk yourself out of. It might sound
simple, but it works.
3. Brush Your Teeth
We’re conditioned to understand that freshly brushed teeth
mean food is behind us. Try this simple distraction technique as soon as the
sweet urge hits you.
4. Stay Busy
Ever noticed you always seem to eat
more junk when you’re having a slow day? Make mid-afternoon (or whenever your
cravings hit) your ‘super-productive’ time.
Schedule meetings for this time, run
errands, do housework – just do something that requires you keep moving and that
typical temptation time will pass by just a little bit faster.
5. Get (true) Satisfaction
Once the cravings
set in, they’re only going to get worse until your body gets what it needs. But
guess what? True satisfaction means real food, in all its glorious richness.
Try indulging with
a small piece of quality cheese, some avocado with sea salt on thinly sliced
sourdough, or some natural nut butter with celery sticks. The key here is to go
for fat or protein based snacks, rather than sugar based – even fruit can do the
trick. Once sweet cravings have set in, sugary carbohydrates will only make it
Eating and living
well doesn’t need to be a constant battle – if you follow these points you’ll
find it easier and easier to push away the demand for instant gratification and
you may even find your newfound willpower crossing over and into your workouts.