Dealing with food cravings while trying to form good eating habits takes time and conscious effort
It takes at least a few weeks to form a new habit. Expecting to reprogram your brain overnight simply isn’t practical. It will take a bit of work and persistence, but over time, your cravings will diminish.
Understanding the ABCs of food cravings can help when you feel indulgent:
- A – Antecedents
- B – Behaviour
- C – Consequences
Whether it’s snacking on chips while watching TV, or an impulsive trip to your favourite fast food joint, we all enjoy guilty pleasures.
Whenever you feel your are being tempted, understanding the ABCs of food cravings can help you crush cravings before they get out of control.
Understanding food cravings – A Is for Antecedents:
What You Do Before You Indulge?
When you eat something delicious, your brain releases a chemical called dopamine. It’s the brain’s reward system and makes you feel good. In other words, enjoying your favourite food is part of a chemical process that occurs in your body.
Dopamine is the reason you want to repeat activates you enjoy, and your brain eventually begins to release dopamine even when you do an activity you commonly associate with the food.
For example, if you love to eat chips while watching TV, your brain will release dopamine anytime you watch TV, which will then cause you to crave chips.
Taking stock of what actions trigger your cravings and resisting the temptation can help you weaken this unhealthy reward pathway and ultimately mitigate those cravings.
Understanding food cravings – B Is for Behaviour:
How You Respond to a Guilty Pleasure
Research suggests that the first step to overcoming addictions is admitting you have a problem.
In the same way, recognizing your indulgences are can help you improve your eating habits.
Here are some helping suggestions to deal with food cravings
- Chips – Find baked, low-sodium crackers and pair it with hummus. It they arevwhole wheat crackers even better.
- Cookies – Mix two mashed bananas with a cup of rolled oats. Form the mixture into cookies and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. You can even add a few dark chocolate chips into the mix if you’re feeling indulgent.
- Try substituting your unhealthy snacks with small berries, nuts, or even original Cheerios.
Understanding food cravings – C Is for Consequences:
How Well You Understand the Impact of Your Choices?
Understanding the consequences of eating something will help you resist the temptation of your food cravings.
- Trying taking a minute to consider what you plan on eating.
- How many calories is it?
- How much fat does it have?
- How much sugar?
- How much sodium?
Oftentimes we intentionally avoid looking at food labels because we’re afraid of what we’ll see.
However, being aware of what you are about to put into your body is a great way to form a habit of conscious eating.
To put the information into perspective, think about how many kickboxing calories you would have to burn off at your next workout.
Also consider using a health app on your smartphone to help you make better choices by calculating calories and other nutritional data as you go.
With the proper knowledge and will, you are able to find the right way.