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.