I seem to be addicted to the foods I’m allergic to, so it’s super important to win the food craving battle. I’ve also learned over the years that I’m a stress eater and I tend to turn to food when I’m bored. So it’s important for me to steer clear of of my allergen foods, find healthy ways to deal with stress, and keep myself busy to avoid diving head first into a bag or box of something poisonous.
Many people struggle with food “cravings.” Studies tell us that it’s fairly common for food cravings to happen quite often at around bedtime. Your guard may be down, you may have had an unusually hard day, and off you go on your not-so-merry way to find that tasty treat. Of course, it doesn’t help that most of the food available in our environment has been built to induce cravings and addiction.
More often than not for many of us these non-hunger factors are responsible for uncontrollable cravings and food binges that drag us off course.
Here are some ways to deal:
- Get all the junk out of the house! If the food isn’t available, you can’t eat it! Empty the cookie jar and keep it that way!
- Keep healthy food choices on-hand. Stock up on healthy food and make sure it’s prepped ahead of time so you have absolutely no excuses not to eat it.
- Recognize the feelings and emotions that lead-up to a food craving. Do you have food cravings when you’re bored, lonely, or stressed? If you can identify a trigger, you can deal with the emotion that’s making you desire a certain food.
- Don’t beat yourself-up. There is always tomorrow. Call a friend, make good use of your support network and share your feelings with someone.
- Get enough sleep. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to crave nasties.
- Never give-up. When you “slip”, do whatever is necessary to re-gain control. Try to practice restraint most of the time.
- Take it one day at a time. Try putting that craving off until tomorrow and tomorrow try the same. Soon you’ll be 30-days out from that initial craving!
- Exercise. It increases feel-good endorphins that cut down on your cravings. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
- Understand that hunger cravings are oftentimes stress related; walk in the park, spiritual connections, a cozy fireplace, baths…all these stimulate regions of the brain that stimulate pleasure. Relaxation techniques may also work. Bottom line, substitute pleasurable experiences for comfort foods.
- Beware of certain medications. They can stimulate appetite. Drugs used for the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder can be appetite stimulants. Other drugs, both prescription and over the counter, may influence appetite as well. If you are on a medication, and troubled by food cravings, discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist.
- Distract Yourself. Get busy. Do anything other than cave-in to your desire for food.
I’d love to know how you battle this beast, share your tips and tricks in the comments!