How can we crush our food cravings and still live around the foods we love without going overboard?
It truly is possible to crush our food cravings.
You know I always want to be REAL and honest with you.
My Labor Day weekend was full of food, food…. and more FOOD!
Were you surrounded by food (especially unhealthy treats) over Labor Day weekend too?
To give you a little taste (pun intended!) of the food that surrounded me last weekend…
- A night out for pizza with the family.
- The hubby made an incredibly, delicious key lime pie (from scratch!).
- Burgers and creamy mac & cheese.
- Wine, wine… and more WINE!
Here we are out for pizza last week…
In the past, being surrounded by these foods would have made my food cravings feel out of control and cause me to overeat.
Now things have changed.
Many of you know my history of emotional eating and yo-yo dieting.
I was someone who used to try desperately to be a 100% “clean eater,” only to repeatedly fall off the wagon whenever the weekend, a holiday, or a piece of chocolate was around.
With these cravings came food binges, feelings of guilt from overeating, and my continuous vow to try to “get back on track next week,” after the holiday weekend ended.
Can you relate this feeling of binge-eating and constantly trying to “get back on track” after your food cravings hit??
After 14 YEARS of dieting, losing, and regaining 40 lbs and then losing and regaining the same 20 lbs (over and over again), I FINALLY realized “getting back on track next week,” was a losing strategy. It was never helping me successfully lose weight long term. What’s the definition of insanity again?? 😉
Also, with my daughters getting older, I didn’t want them to hear me talk about diets or watch me eat different meals than them, and possibly set them up for disordered feelings about food and body image in the future.
About 4 years ago I completely changed my strategy and adopted an Anti-Diet Lifestyle, what I call my #NoBannedFoods, forever-fit approach to eating.
In a nutshell, I gave up the deprivation-diets, my all-or-nothing eating patterns, and adopted a moderate approach to eating.
The way I eat is the same way every day of the year… whether it’s a Monday, a holiday, or any other day.
Using these strategies not only helped me lose those 20 lbs for good (mainly because the binges stopped), but this also helped me stay on track with my health goals – and crushed the cravings I used to get.
4 STRATEGIES I USE TO SUCCESSFULLY CRUSH CRAVINGS
Here’s 4 things I aim to do daily to combat my cravings…
1) #PVWs (Protein, Veggies, Water)
We need a strong FOUNDATION to combat cravings. Build your base with #PVWs.
How often are you having your #PVWs each day?
- P: Protein: Are you having lean protein at least 3 times per day?
- V: Veggies: Are you eating vegetables (especially low-starch veggies) with at least 3 meals or snacks?
- W: Water: Are you drinking a minimum of 80 oz of water?
If not, this is a good place to start.
2) Protein Breakfast
Diving further into the “P” of our PVW acronym… Protein satisfies our hunger and keeps our blood sugar steady. By starting our day with protein (I aim for at least 15-20 grams), food cravings can become easier to control. Examples… eggs/egg whites, protein shake, protein cereal, Greek yogurt… many options.
Over Labor Day weekend my TOP priority was having a protein breakfast so I wouldn’t be hungry, have blood sugar dips, or feel plagued by cravings or urges to overeat when around the goodies. Without feeling starved or deprived, I could enjoy the foods I wanted in a “less urgent,” more mindful, and moderate way.
3) Give Up Perfect Weekdays & Cheat Meal Weekends
Give up striving to eat 100% “clean” during the week and then cheating on weekends. We often think our all-or-nothing eating strategies help us be “balanced” with our eating, but what often happens is we lose weight during the week, and then regain it on weekends through overeating because cravings feel out of control.
Eating the same way 365 days per year will crush cravings, but it’s often hard do successfully do at first. We worry if we lift restrictions we will binge on all our favorite treats daily and gain weight. There are proven ways to mindfully indulge and STOP the binges. It takes courage to make the decision to stop the deprivation diets. I’ve written tons of blog posts on this subject, which you can read on BarbsFitForLife.com if you need help getting started on the “forever-fit” path.
4) Practice with “Satisfaction Bites”
So, how can you crush food cravings, allow yourself access to ANY food 365 days per year in a healthy way?
One way I practice this is with “Satisfaction Bites.”
With my Satisfaction Bites strategy are a strategy I eat about 3-5 bites of whatever treat I want. I practice eating slowly and mindfully, telling myself no food is off limits. I remind myself repeatedly I can have more Satisfaction Bites later on… or even the next day.
One example of how I use Satisfaction Bites is to have 3-5 french fries off my daughter’s plate, to get the taste and leave me feeling satisfied, without having to get a full order of fries.
All of these strategies helped me enjoy the goodies over Labor Day weekend, but also helped me feel in control of my cravings, so I didn’t overindulge.