Cravings can seem to come out of no where and especially when we are trying to make healthier food choices. All of a sudden a thought pops into your head & you can feel all but helpless to resist your cravings...
and that's saying that resistance even had a chance! A lot of the time we've already chomped down on that treat before we even know it!
But... why did that craving just pop into your head, was it out of no where?
It stands a good chance, as we are creatures of habit, that without realising you are setting yourself up to make it very difficult to keep on track with your new long term goals.
Think about it, If someone has been over weight for a while... that lifestyle has certain habits, surrounding and even people that routinely trigger urges to over indulge.
The following guide will help you discover those craving triggers & help you either react differently or make small changes in your routine and environment. This will, overtime begin to lessen and/or even help you avoid those cue’s that get you craving crazy.
So I want you to take a look at all the ways below that you could be triggering your cravings. Once you've gone through them all, follow the step by step guide at the bottom of the page and get taking on your biggest project, YOU.
We know how an advert on TV or the high street can lead to us wanting to eat, by design big business have spent a fortune planting these thoughts into our heads…. but take a look around the places you spend most time in!
Do you have visual cues of food that get you eating, before thinking? Things like having a glass jar of cookies on the kitchen work surface, bottles of wine on display, empty food wrappers in the car sweets on your desk at work etc…. be careful too some cue's maybe a little more subtle, like you want a cup of tea but you keep the biscuits in the same cupboard as the bags, cue your cravings. Clear your desk, Move things around, put things out of view. If have nothing out is too jarring then you could even switch out the biscuits for you're favourite fruit.. Yes it extra calories but a dam sight less and full of nutritional value.
A regular routine we could make a few small changes to is shopping. We mostly buy the same things every week. So, next shopping trip pay attention to what you put in the trolley.
If the things you’re buying are on your craving list, look for an healthier alternative, maybe limit the amount you buy at once or don’t buy them on your main shop. That way, If you really want it in the week, you can always nip to the local shop (walk if you can)... that delay will take care of the instant gratification problem and gradually help you make the necessary lifestyle choices to reach your goal.
bonus tip: when you go shopping make sure you not hungry, you'll be less likely to want to pick out those not so healthy options on a full stomach.
It’s no good just cutting out all the things you like, At some point you’ll get a craving for that banned food. Ask yourself “Do you really, want to be constantly fighting your urges? NO!” You’ll eventually rebel against never having the object of your desire & succumb, which can the lead to feeling bad after.. See the What the Hell effect.. To make any habit stick there need to be a sense of reward at the end, with food it’s all about taste! You could have smaller portions savoured by eating slower, but better is to look for healthier alternative. that still give the YUM effect, This is exactly why i have chocolate protein bars.
You'll notice that I've used road sign to identify the potential triggers... I used this because more than likely you see these everyday and react without thinking (habit)
A great way to make newly formed habits stick is by associating them with pre-existing habits...
Yes you'll never see See no Evil Monkey on any roads sign but hope fully as most of us drive daily it may remind you of your triggers and help you reinforce the steps until you make those little changes part of your lifestyle.
Sometimes stress can come out of nowhere and with a peak in the stress hormone cortisol it can be hard to stay on track… but if we know that this week or that day is going to be one of those situations… Then focus on getting the above in order…
Plus give yourself a brain train boost and read through in particular “What the hell effect” Mindset Blog
Your appetite is largely affected by hormones that fluctuate throughout the day. Sleep deprivation disrupts the fluctuations, and may lead to poor appetite regulation and strong cravings…
Be extra cautious on these days. Learn and bring to mind the 10min rule & Urge Surfing Also see Trouble Sleeping support Blogs to help with your sleep pattern for further help
The people with teamworkout have got very supportive, like minded people all pushing to achieve similar goals hopefully you do to; however family, friends work college or partners for reason you need to know, trigger cravings.
This be might directly or indirectly.
Directly: maybe a friend Say “ Go on, I’m having one!” They’re probably not consciously trying to sabotage you, this is more likely about them feeling bad about overindulging and you not joining in is highlighting that fact.
Indirectly: Perhaps you want stop mid week drinking, but your partner opens a bottle Wednesday night like usual and offer you a glass. First and foremost let them know that your trying to change your habits... They will be used to the old you and associate drinking in the week as the norm... This will take time for them to adapt just as much as it will take yourself time. One more tip let them know why it's important to you...
Your social circle will hopefully be supportive; but even if they’re Not & or don’t change their habit themselves.. You can highlight them as a trigger which will help you employ the knowledge you learn here to help you make better choices.
Let’s say you always get craving on a particular day...
think! what did i eat in the meal before? (if your tracking on a food tracking app or food diary check it out),
Was it little low on Protein? or Perhaps a little high on sugary foods? Simple carbs can cause spikes in the amount of insulin you produces, this may causes you to have phantom hunger pangs.. Eating more protein may reduce your appetite for those sugary carbs and switch off the spike that gets you craving crazy. Food higher in fibre will also help you keep hunger at bay.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE
First, think of those moments that you struggle with your cravings. be sure to pick one at a time to tackle, (trying to change everything will be too much of a willpower challenge).
With one moment in mind go through each of the following signs,
Make notes on how & where you could apply changes..
Triggering new routine rely on cue’s, print the relevant signpost & place it where you know it will remind you to take action..
Making changes will take time, stay focused on just a few new routine until your feel that it’s part of your lifestyle choices.
how will you know? when you catch yourself doing it without thinking.
p.s. I not saying it going to be easy... it will take time to change.. but with a little conscious effect, determination & self belief you can begin to lead the healthier lifestyle that you crave.
Coach Paul | Teamworkout | Stafford