Food cravings are caused by a variety of factors such as hormonal imbalances, a lack of sleep, or even just consistently consuming a nutrient-poor diet. We all know what it feels like and sometimes we give in to those cravings, whether it is a sumptuous dessert or an addictive cup of bubble tea.
Yes, we all know that it is better to reduce or even completely stop indulging our food temptations altogether because the food we tend to crave are usually not the healthiest. But how do we do that?
Cut Down on Your Favourite Foods – But Not All at Once
If you are trying to lose weight, then one of the most common advice you will hear is to eat less deserts & all your other favourite food. The reason for this is because the science behind weight loss is to consume less calories than your body actually needs. Doing this slowly and progressively will almost always lead to successful weight loss but most people tend to swing to the extreme and stop eating all their favourite food at the same time. This can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, tiredness and low mood, and you probably will not stick to your new eating habit for long.
Instead of removing all your favourite foods at one go, try to gradually reduce your portions. For example, if you would like to reduce your dessert intake, then we recommend doing it one step at a time – if you’re now drinking 5 bubble teas every week, you can cut it down to 4 next week, followed by 3 the next week. This is a simple way to gradually reduce your calorie consumption while preventing the onset of withdrawal symptoms.
Write a Food Journal
“What gets measured gets managed.”Peter Drucker
How will you know how much you are eating if you don’t track it?
The easiest way to track your food intake is with a food journal. To keep it simple, all you have to record is what you eat and at what time. For example:
|Meal : Breakfast||Portions|
|White bread||2 slices|
|Peanut butter||2 tablespoons.|
Now, if this sounds tedious for you, don’t worry. You don’t have to do this for the rest of your life. Just try it for one week and then go through your food journal to see if you can identify the occasions when you are most likely to give in to your cravings e.g. chocolate muffins during afternoon tea at work, or soft drinks every weekend. Once this has been identified, you can then start putting together a strategy to overcome it – for example, start bringing your own healthy snacks to work or remembering not to stock soft drinks in your fridge at home.
At Life n Fitness, our personal trainers are always available to go through your food journal and discuss about some practical advice to help you get to your fitness goals quicker!
Give Yourself a Cheat Day
Another way to manage your food temptations is is to actually give yourself 1 day a week dedicated to enjoying the foods that you like!
Yes, you’ve probably heard of cheat days before, and usually with a negative connotation because we tend to judge ourselves as being bad when we cheat. But in reality, cheat days can help to reduce cravings and provides you with a mental break from dieting. If the idea of a cheat day scares you, then have a cheat meal instaed. Just remember not to use your cheat days as a time when you go to the extreme and with overeating or binges!
We hope you found these tips useful, and we would love to hear about how you manage your food temptations. Remember to share this article with a friend who might also find this helpful!