I am going to share my deep dark secret with you guys! I AM A GRAZER! It is horrible for me to admit it but it’s the truth, I graze on snacks all day. I have a terrible time controlling my cravings. I wish I could blame it on pregnancy but I had them way before I ever got pregnant and my youngest is 18 months old and I still get them. But after years of trying to essentially change who I am, I figured out ways to deal with it. And now I am going to share those tips with you.
You can’t eat what you don’t have
One of the easiest methods for avoiding the cravings is to just not have junk food in your house. I can tell you from experience; this is easier said then done. When you have a husband (who maybe doesn’t have to worry about counting calories) and kids in the house it is hard to have a totally sweet-free pantry. It is important to have snack food on hand for when your kiddo is growing and needs a pick me up. Or maybe you pack lunches for everyone and you need to have items to put in there.
Tips to Prevent
I have said it before and I will say it again – “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound on your behind!” There are some common mistakes that lead to having mid-day cravings. If you can avoid these, you may be able to avoid consuming unwanted calories all together.
- Do not skip meals! This is probably the number one cause of cravings, and sweet cravings at that. When you skip meals your body suffers and demands the most immediate source of energy – which happens to be sugar.
- If you are an emotional eater – seek real therapy. Many people, women especially, use food to comfort them when they are feeling down. This can result in an excess of caloric intake. This can also cause a vicious cycle, because as your waistline expands you may fall farther into depression. So please seek out more healthy methods of managing depression, like a therapist.
- Drink plenty of water. Water acts to trick you body into thinking your belly is full. There are also lots of other benefits to drinking lots of water.
Satisfying the Cravings
Despite all your best efforts, you are still bound to have a craving or two. Another great way to manage cravings is to have healthy alternative on hand. Not everyone gets sweet cravings, some get salty, fruity, chocolately, frozen, crunchy, cravings. So how to do you ensure that you won’t be tempted to raid the kids candy stash? Have a stash of your own, that’s how. The new “100-calorie packs” of a wide variety of snack food are great! But be sure that you looking at the other components – how much fat? Sugar? Sodium? Here are some healthy alternatives (these are all in moderation, only a few pieces, or a handful):
- Sweet – fruit (just about any kind), a zero-calorie flavored water (be sure it isn’t high in sodium), red licorice
- Salty – fat-free wheat crackers, whole-grain tortilla, fat-free (no butter) popcorn
- Chocolate – reach for dark chocolate and portion control is important with this one, chocolate covered nuts
- Frozen – frozen fruit, Italian ice
- Crunchy – salt-free pretzels, rice cakes
All in all, cravings will come and go. And truthfully, you will have to give in every once in a while. The important thing to remember is that you can have those jelly beans, as long as you only have a small handful of them.
How do you satisfy your cravings, without stretching out your pants?