The D’s of Dealing with Cravings: Part 2
Having strategies to resist food temptations can be helpful when those nagging urges strike to eat starchy or sugary foods. Last time we covered decode (determine why you are having a craving), and delay (wait out a craving). Now try the rest of the Ds:
Distract Make a list of all the things you can do before eating a poor food choice. The possibilities are endless: call a friend, go on the computer, read a book, listen to music…
The best activities are tailored to your own interests, such as taking a bath, doing your nails, shopping, a craft, hobby or outside activity. Of course exercise is an excellent choice because it will also help with your weight loss goals. Brainstorm your own list on an index card, and then note if and/or how much they helped put off a food craving.
Distance Putting physical distance between yourself and the food you’re craving can make it much easier. Leave the kitchen, go to a different room (perhaps on a different floor). Take a walk or drive to get out of the house. Freeze leftovers, throw away the food or give it away. If it’s not your food, your family member or roommate might be willing to remove it from your presence. If their favorite treat is very tempting to you, perhaps they can keep it at work to enjoy there. At the very least, it can be stored in a separate cupboard, high up or a different room. The overall goal is “out of sight, out of mind“. If you’re out socializing, walk away from the table, or even leave the party if you so choose.
Delight If you are able to resist the craving, you might decide to reward yourself with a non-food item or activity. Make sure you take the time to congratulate yourself on breaking the cycle of addiction. The less carbs that sneak in, the easier it will be to resist next time. Also, remember it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so you are that much closer every time you say no! Reflect on the benefits you got from staying all or mostly carb free. Notice perhaps how your thoughts are clearer, you have more energy, are experiencing a better mood, or feel more in control and less preoccupied with food. Keeping all this in mind will give you the resolve to resist a craving the next time around, and have the confidence you need to succeed.