As I like to remind everyone, I have lost 42 pounds and kept it at bay for 3 years. That is two big bags of dog food and a baby!
It’s nothing like the success on ‘The Biggest Loser,’ but I still get asked how I made it work in a real life situation. I didn’t have a trainer and I don’t live on kale. Truth was plain old exercise and changing my diet on a permanent level is the key.
My biggest obstacle was cravings. I eat out of comfort and want to feel full, satisfied and happy. But the problem is that the craving for chocolate or bread sticks might be your body trying to tell you something. Sophie Skover, author of “The Continuous Appetite,” explains. “Most compulsive food cravings are an indication that something in your life is out of balance.” My family doctor added that your body “will naturally crave what is lacking.” Just like when your body needs water it triggers thirst…your body will crave junk foods that mimic the nutrient that your system is begging for.
Deciphering those cravings is the key, so here are some of the usual suspects decoded.
Needing: Sleep, mood elevators or magnesium. Chocolate is usually packed with sugar that are simple carbohydrates that break down quickly for a quick energy boost. It also has the power to instantly satisfy and make you melt away on a river of decadence. It’s basically an antidepressant in dessert form. Try a quick pick-me-up like jumping rope, a walk outside or indulging in a hobby you enjoy. If you need magnesium, eat more leafy green veggies, they’re full of nutrients and can help you fight off stress. Not a fan of greens? Nuts, fish and cucumbers will also do the trick.
Needing: Throw your table salt in the trash can. That is where it belongs. While your body needs sodium, table salt DOES NOT provide the healthy minerals your body needs. It’s glorified flavor. Use sea salt whenever you can. That is probably why you are sucking the salt off your favorite pretzels.
Needing: Energy! The same thing holds true with chocolate/sugar/baked goods. They may be a mental comfort or a sign of low blood sugar. Try some fruit, fish or beans. A fish oil supplement will work wonders too.
Craving: Greasy burger
Needing: B12, fat, or iron. Use olive oil and cook yourself up some lean red meat. Indulge in coconut, avocado, nuts, and seeds too.
To further banish cravings, try one of these…
Exercise – This is the best tip. You will burn calories and release some endorphins to help your mood. It will also prove to be a great distraction as all cravings will pass!
Burn vanilla or sweet scented candles. – There’s a theory that the scent reduces sugar and chocolate cravings. Immersing yourself in a scent all day will desensitize you. I call it The Donut Maker Theory. You smell it all day and, after time, it eventually turns you off.
Brush your teeth. – Toothpaste cleanses your palate and will kill the taste of anything you crave. Ever tried chocolate after you just brushed your teeth? AWFUL!