You’re sitting at work, and all you can think about is POTATOE CHIPS. You’re going on your daily walk and the only thought on your mind is ICE CREAM. You’re at Thanksgiving dinner and you could eat the entire turkey. Food cravings-they happen to the best of us. On a good day, maybe you can resist the urge to down that 64 oz soda, but on other days, you guiltily record in your food journal that you ate a whole pan of brownies.
An important thing to remember about food cravings is although they often feel very physical, they are in large part psychological as well. Dieting is hard, and not just because you can’t eat the foods that are your favorites, or because you feel hungry. One of the biggest obstacles to dieting is the feeling of deprivation that comes along with it. When you go to the movies, you feel as though you deserve popcorn, popcorn with lots of butter. On your birthday, you feel like you deserve cake. Special occasions are traditionally spent with friends and family, and feasting is a key part of every occasion. Being in such an environment can really trigger you to eat the kinds of foods that you’re not supposed to be eating, because they have such strong emotional connotations.
The best way to fight these feelings of deprivation is not to go cold turkey on all of the foods you love. If you like sweets, try fruit instead of cookies or candies. If you want something salty, go ahead and make popcorn, but season it with salt instead of butter. Instead of soda or punch, put lemon or lime in your water for a zesty twist. Emphasize spicy, rather than fatty, in your cooking.
Try to get friends and family on board! When the holidays roll around, if everyone is committed to eating healthy, it’ll be a lot easier for you to resist those high fat foods. This also creates a spirit of community; having the support of the people in your life can be a huge motivator in your weight loss goals.