Wednesday, November 3

Arming Yourself against Temptation

If I’m going to make it the next 3 weeks, I’m going to need a serious arsenal to deal with temptation.  I’ll tell you, I grab a coffee most mornings at the café in my building at work, and they serve the most delightful Chocolate Chip Espresso Coffee Cake.  Yeah.  I’ve got temptation staring me in the face.
So how do you deal with cravings and temptations when they’re knocking down your door?  In a previous post, I listed out a few fantastic strategies for dealing with cravings.  But honestly, you can never have too many tools in your toolbox for denying temptation.
Drink lots of water.  When I know I need to walk past the office candy bowl, I’ll drink an entire glass of water before I do.  By the time I get over there, my brain is like, “Please, don’t eat anything!  I’m going to explode!”  Granted, it’s only a short-term fix, but it guarantees you get your eight glasses each day.
Recall your last meal.  There was a British study done where women were asked to write a detailed description of what they ate for lunch several hours into the afternoon.  These ladies consumed one third fewer calories later in the day.  You might be like me and already recording most everything you eat.  But are you really thinking about it?  When you’re really evaluating what you’ve eaten, apparently it makes us more aware of our choices.
Meditation.  We’ve already talked numerous times about how most cravings are simply your brain releasing chemicals the affect the food you seek.  When that process is engaged, the most effective way to interrupt it is to get your brain working on another task.  If you remove yourself from your environment for a moment and put all your mental energy into one train of thought, often the craving will disappear.  “But I can’t just get away from work to meditate,” you say!  I’ve done meditation in the bathroom for a few minutes before, and it works wonders!
Give in.  I can hear your collective gasps!  There are a few times—not many for me, but more for some people—when you can exercise moderation and satisfy a craving with a very small portion.  When the Halloween candy started appearing in my office, I was able to let myself have one bite sized Snickers and not feel deprived.  My downfall occurred when later on I didn’t stop at one.  Some people can handle this strategy—and you know if you’re “some people” or not.
How do you handle your cravings?  Any good strategies?  How do you face temptation down and win?


Mum said...

I'm a wimp with temptation!!! My successes are when I think OK just this time I will pass on _____. I went to a wedding this summer and did not eat one cookie!! I just kept socializing and never went near the cookie table. Now, I did have a few glasses of wine...
But, when I can go through the evening and think I'll just not have a snack tonight or I'll not have that _____ right now, it really makes a difference and I am really proud later of the deicision. There will be temptation day in and day out and that is one little thing I do in between giving in to the temptaions at all the other times!!!

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