Having the correct diet is hard for most of us especially when those cravings creep up. So, it is important to understand a little more about them. Some studies have shown us that a lot of people tend to get those cravings before bed when we are tired and or their guard is down. What started as a little snack to fulfil those cravings can quickly turn into a full binge session.
An important thing to remember is to understand that a lot of our cravings are not because you need those particular nutrients. It is usually more emotional related. If we are feeling bored, stressed, or lonely these feelings may trigger certain cravings, if we can recognise which emotions bring on which cravings we can then deal with the emotion rather than giving in to the craving.
If you are feeling bored then find something to do to distract yourself, if its stress that you are feeling you can try a walk in the park or have a nice warm bath or try some meditation. Remember you are trying to replace the food with healthier alternatives. Feeling lonely? Give a friend a call to have a chat, meet for a walk. Building a strong support network around yourself can be very helpful as just trying self-control and discipline won’t work. We need support from others to help us through.
One thing we can do to help self-control while we are alone is to clear out the cupboards and fridge of all those “bad foods” and replace them with healthier options. Planning your shop can be a great way to ensure you’re on the right track. You can substitute those unhealthy food with a lower fat option and eat more complex carbs. If you find chocolate is what you’re craving try eating one of the healthier chocolate options around or eat yoghurt instead or fig bars and raisins for that sweet tooth.
Remember to try and eat six small meals a day and to never skip a meal. Eating in moderation can also be key. If you are really struggling with a craving try eating more kilojoules of just one food rather than everything in the house. Remember also that exercise increases feel-good endorphins that cut down on your cravings. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day even if it is just a walk.
If it is your appetite that is stimulate remember that some medications you may be on can stimulate appetite. If this does happen you can discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist. You may be able to find an alternative medication that doesn’t send your cravings out of control.
Remember also that a naturopath or nutritionist can assist you with menus, supplements and working out food portions to see what works best for you. Similarly emotional therapy such as counselling, cognitive therapy, hypnotherapy etc. can assist with feelings of loneliness, anxiety, stress and depression that might be driving you to the fridge to fill up on foods. Also remember that we all have bad days and get off track but it is important to never give up and never beat yourself up about it.