Woosh, busy busy day today! I thought life would get LESS busy without lawyering. Not so.
Yesterday we talked about emotional eating, how to identify it and how to change the behavior. Today I’d like to talk about food cravings.
Often, as I mentioned yesterday, food cravings for a specific type of food that needs to be met RIGHT NOW DAMNIT are emotional in nature. When those hit, look for an emotional trigger. In the battle for health, you sometimes have to do some uncomfortable work.
But sometimes, we just want food that tastes good. Like grilled cheese sandwiches. Those are cravings that can be met “someday.” As in, when you’re well on your way to achieving health goals. A planned indulgence is okay. Note: This does not mean you’re REWARDING yourself for weight loss with food. Rather, you’re allowing yourself a little slack in the reins because you know that your disciplined habits are well-established. But these indulgences really should be treats and not every day occurrences. And you really should wait until you have been practicing healthy habits before indulging in decadence. If the scale has been up or the pants have been fitting snug, that is not the time to have an indulgence. Get back on track first.
Remember also that some food is addictive in nature. Fat, salt and sugar (especially when combined) will cause powerful cravings. These foods are very difficult for most people to have in moderation. Not all people, but most. So just like you can’t smoke crack in moderation, remember that engineered foods are MADE to hook you. Nabisco and Fritto Lay do not want you to eat just one — they want you to eat one hundred. And come back for more. Remember that. It is in their financial interests to hook you on their shit.
So let’s say that you’ve eliminated emotional triggers as the cause of a craving and you want real food of some sort, not engineered food.
Well, if it’s not an emotionally charged food and you’re not eating shit, I say… eat the food! What could you be craving if you’re not craving engineered food? A cheeseburger? Okay, try to have a healthy bun. Or no bun at all — the wheat is technically processed. You want french fries? Okay, but how about you make them yourself so you know they’re really just potatoes fried up nice and tasty? Or better yet, how about a nice baked potato with real butter?
You want a cookie? How about a piece of 90% dark chocolate instead? You want a pitcher of margaritas? How about fresh squeeze lime juice with tequila and cointreau and skip all the sugar syrups? You don’t have to give up eating delicious food just because you’re not eating shit. I promise.
Here’s an adage that serves adults well: You can’t have your cake and eat it too. That means you can’t spend all your money on a Porsche and still pay your mortgage and save for retirement. It means you can’t ditch work every day to play video games and still have a job.
And it means you can’t eat your cake all the time and have a healthy, fit body. Oh sure, a piece of cake on your birthday or a family member’s birthday won’t kill ya none. But if you have weekly birthday parties at work and you eat a piece of cake the size of your face, don’t be surprised when your pants require sizing up. And remember that if you’re eating other sweets, it’s not just cake adding to your bottom line, it’s all the other snacks and indulgences as well.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Try to minimize emotional eating episodes. Don’t eat garbage. If you truly desire REAL food, eat it! And if there’s something indulgent that sounds good, make a plan to include it into your healthy lifestyle.