With the exception of hunger, there really isn’t a bigger diet killer out there than food cravings.
It’s something that all of us who have dieted experience, and (unfortunately) it’s something that can COMPLETELY derail the most well laid out diet plan – and if you want to be successful with your weight loss, it’s something you’re going to have to get a grip on.
Why Food Cravings Happen
While dieting may seem excessively complicated if you believe everything you read on the internet, it really isn’t that complicated – it’s simply a matter on consuming fewer calories than your body uses each day.
Unfortunately, while YOU may have a vision of yourself walking down the beach this summer looking lean and sexy, your BODY has different plans.
As human beings, we’ve evolved with hundreds of thousands of years of evolutionary programming that encourages us to take down as many calories as humanly possible to store energy and prepare for a famine.
The result is that, when we diet, a number of “switches” tend to get flipped in order to get us to eat more and replenish those lost calories.
And what better way to get them back than with a nice, sweet 500 calorie brownie that can be eaten in a few bites (sound familiar?)
Strategies For Managing Cravings
Given that cravings on a diet are inevitable, the question is what to do about? How can you diet without letting them get the best of you?
While they may be an unavoidable part of dieting, there are certainly some strategies you can use to minimize their effects.
Strategy #1 – Avoid Hunger
While hunger and food cravings are technically two different things, there’s no doubt that the two go together. There’s also no doubt that hunger absolutely makes your cravings that much WORSE.
The best way to solve this problem is by preventing it from happening in the first place. Choose foods that are high in protein and fibre, avoid going too long between meals, and make sure that you have plenty of high quality food prepared and ready to go when the urge for chocolate cake rears its ugly head.
Strategy #2 – Be Flexible
It may sound counter intuitive, but sometimes the best way to deal with cravings is to indulge them…a little bit.
Think about it – if we told you that you could never have pizza again, what’s the FIRST thing you’d want to eat?
Now, that doesn’t mean you should go crazy with this. It just means planning your diet to allow for the odd bit of junk food. It’s a lot better eating a few cookies every day than losing your mind and eating ALL the cookies.
Strategy #3 – Avoid “Trigger Foods”
While dieting flexibly is a great strategy for minimizing cravings, there are certain food that just CAN’T be eaten in moderation.
You know what we’re talking about – for some people it’s ice cream. For others it’s chocolate.
It’s that one food that, once you start eating it, you JUST CAN’T STOP.
So, if there’s that one special food in your life that just takes hold of you, it may be better to go cold turkey on it – at least for a while.
Save it for once the diet’s over.