I am a person that most definitely gets cravings. And that usually isn’t a good thing. Most of the time my cravings are for something big and chocolatey. It’s not all the time and it’s not always a sweet but I do struggle against them when I am trying to have a healthy lifestyle. Lately I haven’t paid much attention at all and if I had a craving I filled it because I was busy and, honestly, didn’t really care that much. That is SUCH a bad place to be in and I am trying to be much more mindful of when and why cravings hit.
Where does that leave me? How do I block out the cravings or ignore them when they come on? More than anything I think the answer is I don’t ignore them, I don’t try to block them out, but that I try to attack them head on. Acting like they are going to go away is never a good thing. It doesn’t work. All it does it make the craving worse and then even harder to ignore.
There are things I have found that help me with cravings. One thing is assessing why I’m having the craving. Am I stressed out and worked up over school and everything else? Am I hormonal and emotional and don’t really want to deal with it? I have to think about these things and try to decide where the craving is coming from. If it’s from stress there are a LOT of times that a good work out with make me feel SO much better that the craving passes. If it’s emotional or hormonal usually a talk with a friend to get out my emotions and just talk it out will make that craving less important.
That’s not to say that the cravings always go away. That would be too easy. But that doesn’t mean I have to deprive myself when absolutely nothing else will do but something sweet. First, I can do something at least moderately good, like a low-cal but sweet snack, like the awesome Ginger Snaps Weight Watchers® offers. It’s not something they have all year long, only at limited times. Last year I fell in love with them so I bought like 10 boxes (there are only 3 packages in a box) so that I would have them when one of those cravings hit. A small bag is only 3 points but it makes me so happy. I can make a nice hot cup of coffee and savor my little cookies and I feel like I’m getting a treat. Last week I found the 3 boxes I still had left in the pantry. I was ridiculously happy about it to say the least.
Normally I try to steer away from pre-packaged foods to track my points because I don’t want to be reliant on them for a healthy lifestyle. These don’t feel like that, these just feel like something yummy that I do to be nice to myself.
Okay, so I talked about a couple of ways to deal with cravings, figuring out why and how to get past them and satisfying them with something good. I absolutely know those do NOT always work. Sometimes you just have to have what you’re craving. I don’t think this is a horrible thing, as I do think that tracking and moderation are the key when this kind of craving hits.
Last week I absolutely wanted NOTHING other than chocolate. I tried drinking water, I tried working out, and I tried figuring out why. Those things didn’t work. I finally did what I wanted and ate some homemade chocolate frosting. And it was GOOD. It was also 12 pts. And I get 33 points a day. If I had an eyes bugging out of my head emoticon to put here I would. It was
not a lot of a SMALL amount of frosting but at the time it was what I wanted more than anything else. I also tracked it and compensated for it throughout the rest of the day. Sure, it wasn’t the most healthy way to spend my points but did it kill me? Nope, not even close. I’m still working out more, making healthy choices, and trying to live a healthy life.
I guess my final point about cravings is that as long as you recognize them, you deal with them, and if you’re trying to watch your calories or points that you account for them, that cravings are NOT the end of the world and you should NOT beat yourself up for them.
Hhhhhmmm, I think I hear some Ginger Snaps calling my name!