Change in any form is hard, but it is inevitable. When you choose to make lasting changes to your diet there will be times of struggle. The foods that you love, but want to stay away from, will be around and you need to learn how to fight the urge to eat the foods that temp you.
What do you reach for? Sweets? Salty? Savory? No matter what you crave it is important to know what it is. Your temptations may include more than one food and you may have new temptations appear over time but identification helps.
If your temptation food is at home, then you can eat it. It will be readily available for you to snack on and derail your efforts to eat healthier. If you have to have your temptation food in the house, don’t put it front and center in the pantry or refrigerator. Remember: out of sight-out of mind.
Chew gum or brush your teeth when you have the urge to splurge.
You won’t feel like eating after your mouth is clean and minty fresh. Also, if you keep your mouth busy chewing, you will be less likely to snack based on a silly oral fixation (which is really common).
Set time aside one day each week to make a meal plan. See how many days you’ll need to prepare your meals for during each week and buy your food accordingly. Planning ahead gives you the opportunity to keep yourself full of the nutrient-rich foods you choose and if you are full you won’t feel like giving in to temptation.
You would think that drinking water all day long would make you gain weight, right? Wrong. Drinking water during the day can help maintain the balance of body fluids and keeps your organs functioning properly. Water doesn’t curb your appetite, but switching a high calorie drink for water helps you skip those empty calories. Drinking a glass of water before a meal can help you determine if you are actually hungry or just dehydrated.
It is so easy to tell yourself that you are going to eat healthier foods and skip your temptation treats. It is also easy to let yourself eat that treat because the only person who knew about your goal, you. Make yourself accountable by having your friends, family and even co-workers help you. They can remind you that cupcake isn’t going to help you reach your goal of eating healthier. You can also keep a food journal. There are many apps that you can use to enter your food and calories right on your smartphone. Using the app can help you see your trends in eating and the kinds of foods you eat on a daily basis.
It is going to happen so accept it. You will eat that cake. You will eat the chips. You will eat the chocolate. Just don’t let that one setback ruin the rest of your day or week. If you give in to your temptation after lunch don’t throw in the towel and think the day is ruined when it comes to healthy eating. Get up, dust yourself off, and remember your goals and think of the best ways to reach them. Sure, giving in to your temptation is not always the best thing to do, but it isn’t always the worst thing to do either. After a setback, remember that you already had your fill of your temptation food and know that the rest of the day you are going to try that much harder to keep on track with eating.
Yes, go ahead and have a piece of chocolate, eat chips with your lunch and have the cookie as part of a snack. Removing your temptation food from your life entirely will probably end in a binge or can cause stress with eating. Give in and have your temptation, just remember it is a treat to have it.
Have you gone a day, a week, or a month without giving into your temptation? Celebrate with something non-food related. Treat yourself to a new piece of athletic equipment or exercise clothing. A massage or a pedicure are also great incentives to working hard to eat healthier and skip the foods that tempt you.
Is your temptation food available in a healthier form? If your temptation food is brownies look for brownie recipes that are made with food options that you can be proud of. There are brownies that are made with black beans or avocado. Yes, it sounds odd, but you’ll still get the brownie taste you crave without the guilt.
Author: Amanda Kessler
Amanda is a slow runner, occasional healthy eater, blogger & Boston Terrier lover. Against the odds, she runs after 5 knee surgeries, asthma and a heart condition. She is constantly working to eat healthier foods and exercise. She struggles with both, but is constantly re-focusing her efforts. Check out her blog here: Therearetwosides.com