Since it’s “Musical Monday,” I thought we could take a lesson from Weird Al on what NOT to do:
If the above image doesn’t refresh your memory enough, watch the crazy video here.
SO it’s Monday afternoon … it’s been a crazy day; maybe even a tough day. You’re feeling a little sleepy and you notice some junk food sitting on the counter …
We’ve all been there. Trying to eat healthy, whether it’s Paleo, Whole30 or clean eating in general, we’ve all been tempted to dive in and devour unhealthy junk when nobody’s watching. This is the work of a beast I call: the Cravings Monster. If you’ve ever given into this evil villain, you well know what quickly ensues: a massive case of give-in remorse where you find yourself feeling guilty, discouraged and maybe like your inner fat-kid is showing.
Sound all too familiar?
Over the past couple weeks, I’ve seen how the Cravings Monster can creep in, unannounced AND uninvited, to put your health in an awkward situation. You’ve got to choose between immediate craving gratification and the more satisfying (although not as immediate) repercussions of making healthy choices.
The good news is, with a little introspection and creativity, you can avoid and defeat the Cravings Monster. Here are 5 Steps that I use to stop my cravings dead in their tracks!
- Stop, Reflect and LISTEN to your body. Take a quick self inventory. Is the Cravings Monster telling you that you deserve this little reward? That you’ve worked hard, had a rough day and deserve to treat yourself? The truth is that you are actually hurting yourself by giving in and not rewarding or treating yourself at all. You have worked hard to be healthier and you owe it to yourself to be strong and kick those cravings to the curb. All that monster wants is immediate gratification. The fact is, you’ll be stronger and more satisfied by NOT giving in. You won’t have any guilt either. What’s your body actually saying? Your body knows that those cravings aren’t what it actually needs. Whew. You just made it past the toughest step. Proceed to Step 2.
- Take a food inventory. Are you eating enough? How much protein/vegetables did you have today? If you’re filling up on carbs, dairy and fruit, chances are you need more meat and veggies. So instead of junk, grab some almonds or another nut variety, which will actually help to satiate you because of the protein content. I focus my eating on protein like chicken, beef and nuts (not protein shakes) and vegetables and often go several hours between meals without snacking because of it. On to Step 3 …
- H2-O-My-Goodness. How much water have you had today? If you’re craving junk, chances are you haven’t had enough. According to the Mayo Clinic, ladies, you’re supposed to get 9 glasses and guys it’s 13 for you. If you’re eating the right amount of protein, your body needs that water more than ever! So drink up and watch those cravings wash away. Once you drink a glass of water, read more about how water can even make you smarter here. Cravings Monster still taunting you? On to step 4 for support!
- Call/text a friend or go online for help. This step can be your saving grace. I’ve had a couple people reach out to me over the past weeks for support and encouragement and I know that I can do the same as needed. This step is simple but packs a powerful punch. The key is to have a friend who is making healthy choices that you can call or text. Friends are happy to help and can really be a great encouragement. Looking for online support? Fan Facebook pages with active communities that are focused on healthy eating and lifestyle are great resources (my Facebook page is a good start!) Pass go, save 200+ calories and move to Step 5.
- Treat yourself to something healthier. There are plenty of healthy ways to really treat yourself. If you’re at home, make a healthier version of a treat like the below pictured Flourless Mocha Bacon Brownies from Practical Paleo. Or for a faster and even healthier option, try some fruit! If you’re out and about or at work, drink a Passion Fruit tea from Starbucks (with no sweetener) or treat yourself to a snack you wouldn’t normal splurge on. My favorite thing to do it to visit my local grocery store and get the expensive pre-cut fruit or berries when I’m feeling like splurging.
So the next time the Cravings Monster begins to toy with your emotions, don’t eat it, BEAT IT with these 5 Steps.
Let me know which step is your favorite