30 Jun Resist Craving In 3 Simple Step
One of the hardest things about living a healthy lifestyle is simply resisting temptation. Diets are easy for a week, but then, inevitably, we start to go back to our old habits. Why is this?
The holes in the armor of my own good health are caused by two things: cookies and soda. Nothing pleases me more than a freshly-baked tray of chocolate-chip cookies, and nothing refreshes me on a warm summer day like a cold Mountain Dew.
This is a problem. Both of these things are terrible for me, but I find myself craving them dozens of times a week. How does a person deal with this day after day?
Your own weaknesses are probably different. Maybe you love a good slice of apple pie, or maybe you like to unwind with a pint of double-fudge ice cream. Whatever it might be, quitting those bad habits can be tough.
Fortunately, there are a few extremely simple steps you can take to combat those temptations whenever they arise. The good news that the more often you resist those calorie-packed foods, the easier it will become.
1. Find Alternatives
The first step to fighting off those cravings is to simply replace those unhealthy snacks with healthy counterparts. I know, this is easier said than done–no “healthy” food can take the place of chocolate cake. The key is to not think of it as a “replacement,” but rather as an alternative that hits the spot in the same way.
Take my chocolate-chip cookies as an example. You can buy sugar-free cookies that use carob instead of chocolate, but it’ll never be the same. You can also get diet soda, but it’s nowhere near as good as the regular version. Plus, those “diet” versions aren’t much healthier than their full-sugared counterparts.
Instead, eat a protein bar with low sugar content. Drink a green smoothie sweetened with stevia. After about a week, you’ll find that these healthy alternatives not only taste great, but are actually far more mentally and physically satisfying.
2. Take a Deep Breath
When a craving hits hard, it’s almost too easy to just give in. Sometimes we don’t even think about it. Before we know it, that candy bar is in our hands and we don’t even know how it got there.
The problem here is that our minds have gotten used to instantly indulging our appetite. To fight this, all it takes is a small step back. When you finish dinner and feel the first craving for dessert, force your mind to stop there. Take ten deep breaths. Then, ask yourself if you still want it. Chances are it’s just a knee-jerk reaction to some stimulus, and after thinking it over, you’ll find that you don’t want it so badly after all.
During those breaths, it also helps to think about the future. Ask yourself how you’ll feel after indulging. Will you feel happy? Or disappointed in yourself? The answer is usually pretty clear, and it makes resisting a whole lot easier.
Ultimately, the power to resist your cravings may come from simply evaluating your motivations and our goals. Why do you want to be healthy? To live longer? To lose weight? Get ripped? Whatever the case, anything that gets in the way of reaching that goal is to be avoided at all costs.
Cravings almost always push us to unhealthy choices. Those unhealthy choices push our goal further away from us, which is something no one wants. Picture yourself healthy (whatever that may look like). Every time you indulge, you’re pushing that image further away. The opposite is also true: every time you choose water instead of soda, you’re bringing that image closer.
When you think of it like that, it’s pretty easy to make the right choices. After all, cravings are as much a mind game as a physical one. Resist them enough, and they’ll stop. All it takes is a firm vision of your goals, and ending those cravings for good becomes easier than you think.