We all get them, and cravings can be our downfall. As a general rule, if you are eating the right foods, eating clean and eating enough, your cravings should not be out of control. But, sometimes, no matter what you do, you still get cravings for things. You also need to figure out if it is a normal craving, that should be satisfied, or if you are eating out of boredom, or it is emotional eating. It is fine to indulge occasionally, in moderation, if it is worked into your plan. But, if the craving occurs and you know you shouldn’t be giving into it, then it can be very tough.
I have been in this situation many times before. Normally late at night. I have been eating on plan all day, and then a huge chocolate craving hits. Normally I would have a couple of squares of chocolate to cover the craving, but if for some reason that is not in my plan for that time (if I am really trying to 100% stick to eating clean), or I know it is just out of boredom or sadness, then taking my mind of those cravings can be tough.
Here is a list of some of the things I do to stop myself from over eating and take my mind off it:
- Drink a large glass of water: Chances are, your food craving is actually not a food craving, but you are dehydrated. Have a glass of water and if you are still hungry in half an hour, then have something to eat.
- Do some exercise: this is my favourite way to take my mind off food cravings. Not only do I avoid over eating, but I get a mini workout in as well. You don’t have to do a full hour of cardio, just do a few squats, or run up the stairs a couple of times – anything to get your heart pumping and your mind somewhere else but the fridge.
- Take a look at your favourite website: We all know how it is, there are those websites that you “just check” and then 2 hours later, you wonder where your time has gone. One of my favourite websites to waste time on is Map Crunch. The website shows you random Google street views. I feel a little bit more well-travelled having seen as those different places.
- Go outside and get some fresh air: Not only will you get a little bit of exercise from the walk, but the change of scenery will take your mind off craving junk food.
- Read: Make time to read a chapter of your favourite book, or pick up a magazine.
- Watch an episode of your favourite TV show: Again, this is a sure-fire way of taking your mind off those cravings (unless you are watching Man vs Food, or the cooking show). A classic episode of Friends always helps me. Even better, do some exercise whilst watching the show.
- Play an instrument: If you are musical, then pick up your instrument and play it for a little while. Not only will it take your mind off that food craving, but it is good to be creative.
- Paint your nails or have a shave: Anything that makes you feel better about yourself will keep you on track and make you realise that you are stronger than a craving.
- Spend time looking at motivational pictures: It could be pictures of how you used to look and how you want to look again, it can be fitspiration pictures or just a picture that keeps you going when times are low. Maybe a picture of your family, who motivate you to stay healthy.
- Phone or email a friend: Just spending time talking to someone, whether about weight loss of not, will keep your mind occupied and you might even get some inspiration/encouragement from them.
What are your favourite ways to stop eating out of boredom?