Human Beings are creatures of senses. Of experiences. We create memories with taste, smell, sensation. Everything we feel is amplified with the signals we receive from our senses. As delightful as these are, they also make it very easy for us to go overboard. And from time to time, most of us have had to fight the familiar battle of indulging our senses. The most compelling of these impulsive indulgences is the desire to give in to cravings for foods and sugary drinks. Long days at work, coping with feelings of anxiety and stress, weekend binges are some of the instances where some tend to overindulge. While a ‘pick-me-up’ is needed every now and then, being mindful about what one eats and how one eats goes a long way in staying in control and feeling good about ourselves.
Here are a few easy tips to help us stay in control of those cravings:
- Avoid ordering food/grocery shopping on an empty stomach
- Eat in a smaller plate. Use a smaller spoon. This helps in portion control.
- Take smaller bites.
- Chew your food mindfully and slowly.
- All whites are not flattering – sugar, white flours, whole milk, cheese. Consume in moderation.
- Eat smaller portions at frequent intervals.
- Eat a sizeable portion of soluble fibre to make digestion more efficient. It also helps keep the gut bacteria healthy.
- Eat one negative calorie fruit a day, like apples, carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, watermelon etc. These foods burn more calories during digestion than what they actually contain. They are also high in fibre and have a low glycemic index.
- When a craving hits you in between meals, choose a healthy snack.
- If the craving for something is very strong, drink some water and wait for five minutes. Most cravings will disappear by then. If it still persists, find a healthy alternative or allow yourself one small bite. Nibble and chew slowly, savoring the flavor. That one bite should sate the craving.
- Avoid snacking while watching something. Portion control then goes out of the window.
- Exercise. When you exercise, you become more conscious about what you eat since you know how hard it is to work off the empty calories.
- Educate yourself about what goes into your favourite snack and whether you would want to consciously consume it over a long period of time. Knowledge is power and even more so when it is connected to the food you eat.
- Go local. Our bodies are built to cope with the weather conditions we are born into, and our digestive system will thrive on seasonal foods that are grown and cultivated around us.
Lastly and most importantly, believe that the food you eat is helping your body rather than harming it. Take guilt off your plate. There will be wins, there will be misses. Tomorrow is a new day.