Thursday, January 7, 2016
Three easy steps to curbing your cravings
Do you often say to yourself, “I know what I need to do. I just can’t avoid temptations that stop me from being healthy!”
We all know that good nutrition and regular exercise is what’s good for our well-being. But, knowing what to do and actually doing it are two very different things. Things like motivation level, mood swings, schedules, temptations, and surprises among other things can easily take over your well-thought out plan of good intention.
Your consistent behavior will determine your ultimate outcome. So, if you can consistently act on things that lead you to your goals, you’ll get there. The good news is, consistency doesn’t require you to act on your goals ALL of the time. This leaves you flexibility to give into those temptations occasionally.
If you’re struggling with giving into temptations, you don’t have to quit giving in to them. But, do you think you can reduce the number times you give in to them? Remember, it’s not you that’s tempted. It’s your brain. So, it’s just a matter of re-wiring your action that’s blamed on your brain!
Let’s say your craving is soda. Each time you give into drinking a soda, your cravings get stronger and stronger. In turn, your brain’s ability to break the habit gets weaker and weaker. Soon, it will be automatic for you to drink a soda at a certain time (or times) of day because you’re used to it. So, if you want to reduce your craving, you simply have to reprogram your brain – like this!
1) Recognize – When you get your craving for a soda, just acknowledge it. You may even want to say it out loud to yourself! “There’s my brain again – telling me that I’m craving a soda.”
2)Remind – You’re in a habit of reacting to what your brain is telling you in a certain way – picking up that soda without really thinking about why. Try intentionally thinking about why you’re doing it.
a. Are you really hungry/thirsty? If your answer is yes, try to choose something healthier, yet still satisfying like carbonated water.
b. Are you bored, tired, happy, sad, etc? If your answer is yes, do something else. Try waiting 10 minutes to see if the craving is still there – or still as bad. Go for a walk, text a wellness buddy about your craving, work on a hobby or journal about a healthy action you took today.
It doesn’t have to work 100% of the time, but even if this works for you once a day this week, twice a day next week, and so on, you’ll start turning the tide on taking over your temptations!