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Keep Those Cravings at Bay

It’s 2:30 in the afternoon and I. am. hungry.
What can I eat?
Something sweet? yes.
Well, maybe. No, no, don’t cave.
How about fruit?
Are you kidding? I don’t want fruit.
Something Salty? Eww, no.  All I have is the piddles of my husbands potato chips and those are 3 weeks old. Gross.
Cheese? Crud, I forgot to cut it and that is way too much work.
ROAR!!!!! Must find something to put in my mouth NOW!!!!
Does that ever happen to you?
Because its a pretty regular occurrence in my head.
I am always struggling with wanting to put food in my mouth but not wanting to
make bad choices. I have found that if I try and ignore the cravings though that I over eat at dinner or become a crabby monster that no one wants to be around.
If I try and push them off by just eating 1 or 2 crackers or sneaking a bunny graham from my son’s afternoon snack bowl that I will just keep putting tiny thing after tiny thing in my mouth trying to satiate my cravings and in the end I am still unsatisfied and have eaten more calories with less substance than if I had just made 1 bad choice in the beginning.
So what is a person to do???
There are several tricks I have learned to help me navigate my snack monster attacks
  • Pour a glass of water while you try and decide what you are going to have
    • Sometimes your body tries to trick you and when you think you are hungry you are really just thirsty. Pour a glass of water or brew some tea or coffee and drink it slowly while you decide  or prepare your snack and you may find you don’t really need one after all. Even if you are still hungry it will help you feel full faster and help you avoid overdoing it on the snack.
  • Think about what you like ahead of time and have them ready to grab easily
    • Preparation is such a huge part of success when you are trying to make big changes in the way you and your family eat. Grabbing something quick does not have to mean it is a bad choice.  Keep healthy snack options on hand like raw nuts that are easy to grab a small handful of. Keep cheese cubed in the fridge so it’s easy to grab just a few chunks. Pre-slice and wash fruit and veggies so it is as quick to grab a few slices of apples and some peanut butter as it would be to open a bag of processed snacks. Next time you make some healthy muffins or pancakes make extra and freeze them so you have a quick snack to pull out of the freezer when you want some carbs that won’t destroy your day.
  • Avoid packaged snacks 
    • Try not to be fooled by those 100 calorie snack bags. Check out the ingredients, they are usually super duper processed and or could be low in calories but still high in sodium, carbs, and sugars. BEWARE of the quick fix.
    • Invest some time in yourself and experiment in the kitchen. Maybe try the recipe you pinned 3 months ago for homemade granola bars or that banana blueberry oat bake that looked so good. When you make it yourself you control what goes in, and usually taste a whole lot better anyway!  Plus you can portion it out and freeze the leftovers to make that snack easier to get to the next time you want it- or thrill the neighborhood kids after school when they walk into the “healthy snack lady’s house” and find something warm and delicious to try
  • Sit down, eat your snack, move on
    • Don’t eat on the go unless it’s necessary.
    • Give your body time to recognize that you are eating and enjoy it.
    • Try not to always eat while you watch a certain show or you will train your body that when that show is on you need a snack (even when you are not hungry at all)
  • Eat in moderation
    • Whether you choose some nuts and cheese, sliced up fruit, a bit of greek yogurt and granola, a muffin or even decide you can’t help yourself and you just HAVE to have some of the chocolate chips that are open up there ( I mean who will notice a few gone, you are the one who does the baking right?!?!) DON’T OVERDUE IT.
    • and maybe stop buying chocolate chips unless you need them for something very specific…
So now that I have shared some of my tips here is a small list of some of my go to snacks, if you have some great ideas feel free to share them with me in the comments, I am always looking for new things to try.
  •  Raw almonds or pecans and a cup of tea
  •  homemade granola bar
  • Greek yogurt with some blueberries
  • sliced apples or pears sprinkled with cinnamon and microwaved for a few seconds
  • a cup or grapes or your favorite fresh fruit
 
So be strong, be in control and be prepared for those cravings. Ignoring them usually won’t do you any good so face them with better choices and than pat yourself on the back for being great today!!
~eat well, be well
Patty

 

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