“I want THAT!” Waahhh. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Can’t you here it? Your inner child stomps it’s foot and demands that you eat that chocolate right now!
Cravings and urges are like that. We aren’t even hungry, we just ate, it’s late at night and we have to have something to eat. But, really, you need it! Really?
The more we give into our inner child’s urges the more he or she demands. We all know this is true. Caving in to cravings doesn’t always stop the feeling but often leaves us wanting more and more.
What can we do to quell the cravings, calm the urges and stick to our healthy habits?
Think about the urge like a wave. Every wave rises, crests and falls. The craving wave behaves the same. It will ebb and it will flow away. The more we resist giving in the calmer the waves become.
How to ride the wave: urge management :-)
Step 1: Identify Triggers
Write down what most often causes cravings. Do you raid the kitchen before dinner when you’ve gone more that 4 hours since eating lunch? Do the sales people at work drop off treats and cakes at meetings? Must evening T.V. watching be paired with popcorn or ‘just a little yogurt’?
Step 2: Avoid the Triggers and Break the Pattern
“Fail to plan and you plan to fail.” If you pass the bakery on your way to work and you can’t help popping in to grab a scone…stop driving that way! If you come home through the kitchen door after a long day and head straight to the fridge…start using the front entrance. Take time to think about what you are doing and why and then make a change in your routine.
Step 3: Find something else to do.
Instead of having dessert right after dinner why not step outside and enjoy the fresh air. Is there some ironing to do while watching the news? Better yet, turn off the T.V. and read a book or journal. Chances are you won’t want to eat Cheeto’s with freshly painted fingernails. When are you most likely to hear the call of the craving? Take note of this and substitute another activity for snacking.
Step 4: Stall! Wait it out.
It only takes 15 minutes for the craving wave to crest! Find something you can do for 20 minutes to make certain you get over the hump. Rearrange a closet or work space. Help the kids get homework organized or read a short story. Do something outside of the kitchen.
Most often cravings are a signal of something other than hunger. I always want sweets when I’m sleepy. But, what I really need is a nap. Train your brain to create the healthy habits that you deserve. Does the sugary treat make you feel better or worse? We all want to feel good. Ask yourself what you really need and want to feel good next time the craving calls. Then, if you decide that, yes, the cupcake is exactly what I want, eat it, enjoy it and be happy. (Then maybe go to the gym:-)
HERE TO HELP!
Let me know if there is anything I can do for YOU.