First and foremost, if you want to get a grip on cravings you HAVE TO eat properly. There is no way around that and for our “Braking Bad” group this has been one of the most positive changes they have experienced. Nothing beats the impact of balanced nutrition throughout your day. However, we aren’t robots and life can be unpredictable so accept that no matter how “perfect” a day, week, or month you have eating wise, cravings will eventually surface. This weekend I touched upon the topic of temptations vs. trigger foods with the “Braking Bad” group.
Trigger foods are any foods you enjoy that will create a cycle of intense cravings for several days after indulging in them. They are not only hard to resist at the moment but under most circumstances as well. Will power is under constant use. To contrast, temptations are simply foods that you like and enjoy but do not cost you any or much will power to turn down. Under normal circumstances where you are fed and fueled you don’t feel much need to partake in these items when they are near. You can enjoy them and move on.
I have chips, M&M’s, Twizzlers, and loads of other pre-packaged snacks front and center in my pantry and most of the time even when I come home hungry, I don’t want a bite of them. If I choose to have some, I do. No guilt. No binge. No worries.
However, you will no longer find brownies, cookies, or peanut butter in my house. These are treats that I do allow myself when I’m out to eat but do not have easy access to reach on a normal basis. If will power is like a muscle, it will reach failure and I need my kitchen to be a mentally peaceful place, not a constant battle of wills. Brownies, cookies, and peanut butter trigger true BINGES for me. Remember The Cookie Monster? That’s me!
To make matters worse, I enter what feels like a sugar detox for several days later where I crave the same binge again. When I decided to treat my trigger foods differently from other temptations I was finally able to create a balance and make peace with these foods.
1. Never buy them to bring home from the store.
2. Never order these items in bulk no matter the discount.
3. When out, choose to eat the very best of the trigger food. It has to be WORTH IT.
No food is to be truly forbidden from your life. If you completely restrict yourself from eating something you love, the mind games and misery begin. However, if you recognize certain foods that make you lose control and make your kitchen into a war zone where you are constantly exercising your will power, then step back, acknowledge the situation, and create a realistic boundary. There is a healthy middle ground. You just have to find it!