Do you struggle with food cravings?
This is a giant barrier to weight loss success. It sets up a negative cycle of initially “battling” the craving, giving in, overindulging, feeling like a failure, and giving up. Sound familiar?
I’d like you to try my easy “5 Ds” to help manage your food cravings. They really work!
DELAY – DISTRACT – DISTANCE – DETERMINE – DECIDE.
Delay: Postpone eating for 10-15 minutes when you feel an urge. You’re not saying “no” – just stopping to think before you eat. You’re not ignoring the thought but dealing with it. While you’re delaying your decision, the next D makes it easier…
Distract: Try a non-food activity to give you something to do (so you don’t watch the clock for 10 minutes!). Often the wave of desire to eat disappears in a few minutes when you keep your hands busy without food. Clean out a drawer, call a friend, brush your teeth, surf the web, or even learn to knit!
Distance: It’s important to keep your eating environment at arm’s length – maintaining a distance. Keep food out of sight, not on counters; “out of sight, out of mind” can help. Stay out of the kitchen when a craving strikes. And use the kitchen only for food preparation and meal consumption. Avoid it as a place to hang out.
Determine: After waiting 10-15 minutes, determine whether you are physically hungry or just thirsty; these two are often confused. Also consider whether you might have emotional/boredom hunger, what I call “head hunger.” And avoid getting over-hungry, a main consequence of meal skipping. All of these situations can be helped with a structured eating schedule and pre-planned meals and snacks.
Decide: If you’ve made it through the first 4 Ds, it’s time to make a smart choice. Think before you eat and pre-plan what you are really looking for – sweet, creamy, salty, chewy – before you make a choice. Look for single-serving packaged items for built-in portion control. You also get the satisfaction of “eating the whole thing.” Aim for a snack between 100-200 calories.
How do you manage your own food cravings? Please share your thoughts!