First and foremost, let me just say I’m not a doctor. Serious food addictions need professional help.
This is more for people who suddenly have a pizza craving and indulge in it all the time, sabotaging their fitness goals.
What you need to know: companies spend billions and billions of dollars a year to make sure you can’t put your fork down. Why do you think so many of them have cute characters as mascots?
I only mention this because you should keep this in mind when you’re battling those late-night food cravings. Yes, it’s partially discipline, but there’s also a HUGE industry spending their days and nights thinking of ways to keep you addicting.
There’s a reason that for the most part people have a craving for fast food over celery – they’re designed this way.
The problem sets in when you’re sabotaging your fitness goals or your overall way of life simply because you can’t stop. I don’t think I need to tell you that eating these foods in excess will not only add extra fat, but could end your life early.
As someone who will destroy a pizza or a bag of Cheetos if it’s within arms reach, let me share what I do to manage it.
Get it out of your space
Listen, I’m not a fan of throwing food away (hello low-income upbringing) BUT you need to at least stop buying the food you’re addicted to. If you’re bringing it in your house, you’re going to be relying on willpower every single day, and that’s borderline impossible after a long day of decision-making at work.
Remove the temptations and free yourself. If you have to get up and go to the store to buy it when your cravings hit, you’re going to reduce your chances of eating it.
Stop going through drive throughs
This is the biggest vice for most people and I don’t know an easy shortcut to this. Why do you think they made drive throughs in the first place? BECAUSE THEY’RE SO DAMN EASY. You don’t even have to walk in. You simply have to drive through.
Taco Bell was ALWAYS my weakness and if I hadn’t figured out I can’t eat wheat, I bet I’d still be going there way too often.
This might require even going out of your way to drive home because seeing the golden arches on your drive back will be enough temptation for you.
Think of how you want to feel the next day
This one really does the trick for me. I can feel crappy food in my diet for at least another full day afterwards. The day after I eat a whole pizza is sluggish and my brain power is not fully there. As an entrepreneur, I cannot risk too many days like this in a row because my clients need me on my A-game. There’s nothing worse than being on a client call and sounding dumb as a brick when they’re asking you hard questions.
Consider a detox
If you’re fully in cravings mode, you might have to go cold turkey. Every time I’m consuming too much junk, I cut it all out instead of tapering off. Now, not everyone can do that and while your body is pushing out all the toxic sludge, it feels pretty horrible. You’ll want nothing more than to eat an entire box of donuts. However, if you can get through it, you’ll find how much of your taste buds change.
Every time I detox from sugar, I notice that foods taste regular again. Yogurt goes from tasting like nothing to almost being too sweet to eat lots of.
Remove decisions from your life
The less decisions you have to make about your food every day, the better off you’ll be when it comes to food cravings. That means being on top of food prepping every week, making healthy snacks to easily eat, and having a meal plan ready.
This can also mean deciding WHEN you do indulge, too. I have a rule of indulging in my favorite foods I love once a week without an ounce of guilt. I don’t waste this on foods I don’t love.
On top of that, I have a new rule of not eating at my work desk. One, it distracts me from enjoying my food because I’m usually watching or listening to something else while I eat. Two, it allows me to focus on when I’m actually feeling full.
Tell your supportive friends
If you tell your friends your new goals and plans and in response they don’t agree or give you shit for it, uh, how do I nicely say you need to find new friends? Sure, friends can joke, but in the end they should be supportive and look out for you.
If you don’t have supportive friends, there are a ton of groups online you can find with similar goals where you can help keep each other on point. Even being in contact with people who think like you do can work wonders.
Know your triggers
Knowing what situations get you off track is essential to making sure you don’t sabotage your diet. Is it the happy hour meet up with your friends? Your cravings when you are sitting around watching Netflix? Fights with your spouse? Work stress?
Whatever sets you off, you first need to write it down so you know when it happens. Then you need to make a plan to combat it. When you know your enemy, you can fight it head-on.