Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 24 - Curbing Cravings

Take a look at when cravings happen, what you are feeling at the time, and what you are craving. Be prepared.

Mine tend to hit in the evening and I know it’s usually because I’m tired. Instead of an early night and much needed shut-eye, I prowl the kitchen in search of chocolate, potato chips, or ice cream. All calories count, so ignore the urban myth that says it’s a freebie if you eat ice cream with your head in the freezer.

First of all, try and limit what you have in the house. This may not even save you if you are someone who will drive to the 7-11 for a box of Twinkies. If this is likely to happen, give a family member your car keys to keep until the morning. (Preferably pick someone bigger than you who can fend off the blows when you realize those Twinkies aren’t going into your mouth any time soon.)

Many articles explain that the cravings will work like a wave. They start off small, gain in strength, crest and then subside. Usually at the crest point, my thoughts are to get it over with, eat the darn thing and go back to what I was doing. Obviously this has not been a desirable solution to the problem.

Researchers state that urges last only five to ten minutes, so during that time try and evaluate what is bothering you, and find different ways to cope. Find something that works for you that you can rely on - Deep breathing, meditation, exercise, or cleaning out a kitchen drawer. A friend of mine says minty gum helps her, or brushing her teeth.

Dr. Elizabeth Parks, associate professor of clinical nutrition at UT Southwestern, suggests that certain foods (chocolate and snack foods) contain a chemical mixture of fats and sugars that spark the brain’s pleasure centers and produce a desire to eat more.

If you are craving the creamy taste of ice cream, try yogurt instead. For crunchy potato chips substitute sugar snap peas, carrots or apples. For chocolate, make up a sugar-free chocolate pudding mix. If evenings are difficult for you, then plan into your daily calorie count an evening snack so that you have something to look forward to but make sure you document all the calories.

I didn't do too well yesterday and have been more careful today. Although it was extremely hot, I took apart the garden shed and moved it. That exercise kept me out of the kitchen and I didn't feel much like eating after being in the heat. I've made better choices today.


lv2scpbk said...

Well, I'm not so sure about the research find. I had been craving brownies for about 3 days till I finally broke down and bought them. Hated myself for it but the craving is gone.

Glad you got some exercise in by moving the shed. It sounds like a real job, tiring. Makes me tired just thinking about it. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

I didn't get my walk in today but did do some cleaning and cooking.

Joanne said...

At the Kimbell today, I bought the small lunch plate and had plenty. Indeed, I craved their dessert, but got over it by not buying it immediately. I was full by the time lunch was over, and didn't need the chocolate cake. Looked darn tasty. Sounds like you are doing well and with exercise, moving sheds, you can forgive yourself a small backslide. Confession is good for the soul. Hang tough!


Any information in this blog should not take the place of medical advice from a professional. I am simply sharing my journey.