Monday, March 11, 2013

Nix Those Cravings -- Guest Post by Terry Harris

30 Day Mediterranean Lifestyle Challenge

Terry is ASHA's Learning Facilitator. We work together in HR and she's playing a critical role in planning our 30 Day Challenge as she does all our wellness activities. She's agreed to share her perspective on our challenge in a couple of posts over the course of the month. 

Kicking off Wave 1 today, we're starting to recalibrate our bodies to our new healthy eating habits. Inevitably we'll experience some cravings, but the Sonoma diet promises that we'll be "pleasantly surprised at how quickly you lose your cravings for white bread and sugary sweets." Until then, we'll rely on Terry's tips and the support of our colleagues and friends. If you've found other things that work for you, leave us a note in the comment section below. 

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Wave 1 of the Sonoma Diet is the most restrictive phase in which sugar, alcohol, and most sources of starch are avoided.  With that being said, and if you’re like me, the minute I hear I can’t have something is when I become obsessive about it and want it more!

According to a survey, 97% of women and 68% of men experience food cravings. Researchers believe that the time of day plays a role in cravings — late afternoon or early evening is the prime time when they tend to occur.  Some experts suggest that cravings are physiological ­­-- that our bodies crave certain nutrients when we want specific foods or that we subconsciously desire a result the food might bring. Others say cravings are simply force of habit or even a form of food addiction. Whatever the reasons, I’ve found that the times I’ve been successful in warding off my cravings have been when I’ve purposely distracted myself by doing or thinking of other things.  Then, by the time I remember I had the craving, I’m forced to ask myself how much I really wanted the item if I could forget about it so easily.  I Googled “food cravings” and below are some basic tips for dealing with them.  I tested each of the tips when I decided to write this post and below are my reactions to each:       

  • Wait it out – seemed to work the best for me
  • Chew gum – didn’t seem to make a difference; the craving was still there
  • Drink water – because it has no taste, it didn’t do anything to eliminate the craving for me 
  • Go for a walk – I absolutely hate walking so I didn’t try this one!      
  • Call a friend – I called a friend and told her I was really craving Mexican food and she asked, “What day are you free so we can meet for dinner?”    

My reactions to the above tips are included to make the point that your craving are an individual thing and for that reason, you have to find solutions that work for you.  So, as you start the 30-Day Mediterranean Lifestyle Challenge, particularly during the Wave 1 phase, pay close attention to your cravings and develop your own techniques for dealing with them.  Good luck!  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have found the best way for me to deal with my after-dinner cravings is to just go to bed! Good tips, Terry, and I like that you tested them, too! Another one that works for me (if I am at home) is to take a hot bath...when I see myself in the tub it also helps remind me of why I am doing this - to lose the belly fat and love handles that are glaringly obvious in front of me :)