Have you ever had that irresistible, insatiable, IRRATIONAL urge to eat
candy? You are driven to it, and there is no Snickers that is going satisfy
(Well maybe, after two or three of them have been gobbled down…)
Maybe it’s not candy, maybe it’s those Dot’s pretzels,
Dr. Pepper or even a cheese burger. You get your hands on those tasty
morsels and before you’ve even realized it, the bag is gone, the
wrapper is staring at you, you didn’t even taste it as you inhaled
it and you are left to wonder, “what exactly just happened?”
If you have had a snaccident (or two), you get what I’m saying! When
it happens to me, it’s what I call “The Avalanche” and
yes, it’s like a tidal wave of tasties just hit me and pulled me
out to a sea of chocolate and Hot Tamale heaven. I’m usually left
to wonder (in my sugar stupor) what happened to my will power and good
intentions. This article will help you look at the “why” of
those powerful cravings and give you a tip or two to combat them. Because,
honestly, it’s not as simple as having will power. Snacks happen!
Manage hunger. Surprise! Being hungry or even extra hungry is a snaccident waiting to
happen. Fight this by ensuring that you don’t get over-hungry. Try
timing your meals and sticking to a plan. Get your three square meals,
or snack through your day—both are good strategies as long as they
work for you and your lifestyle. Eat more protein, fiber and yes, fat. The nutritious
versions of each of these food groups can promote satiety (a feeling of
fullness). Avoid eliminating food groups. There is no such thing as a
“bad” food and
all the food groups serve a purpose in our metabolism of foods. Also don’t
overlook your thirst. The need for hydration can often be mistaken as hunger!
Don’t eat your feelings. Ask yourself, are you stressed today? Have you had a tough week? And are
you finding solace in food? Being sad, lonely or angry can all influence
our eating habits. Think about it: being hangry is an emotion just as
much as it is a reaction. Our emotions often influence our behaviors.
Avoid managing your feelings with food, and learn what your reactions
are in respect to food. Recognizing the behaviors can be a step toward
choosing different actions—such as exercising, listening to music,
having a good laugh—to manage stress, happiness or sadness that
serve you better.
Walk away. I know if there is a doughnut in front of me, it’s likely to find
itself in my belly. Temptations are truly hard to resist. If you find
yourself in a situation that is just too good to resist, the best strategy
is often to remove yourself from the hankering. Avoid the break room if
there is a steady stream of treats there. Don’t go grocery shopping
if you are hungry and keep on driving past that coffee shop if you know
you can’t control yourself. Literally walking away can also be a
good tactic, as the distraction can alleviate the craving. Take a brisk
walk or find another task (read a book, call a friend) that can get your
mind off those treats. Odds are, the urge to go on a food bender will
pass after a few minutes.
Get some sleep. Have you ever sat back and watched a tired toddler in the grocery store?
Mom is waiting patiently in the checkout and Billy wants that lollypop
now. Like yesterday. And then the fun begins for everyone in a five aisle
radius. Adults are a lot more like children than we care to admit, it’s
just that our meltdowns look a bit different. Our ability to say no to
a candy spree is slim if we are tired. We just give in. Make sure you
routinely get enough rest, and if you know you are too tired to make solid
food choices, be smart and limit your options. Don’t go out to eat,
keep it simple at home instead. Stick with easy, fast foods like scrambled
eggs, left-overs, or grilled lean meats and a veggie. No five-course meals needed!
Finally… Give in. Yep—I said it. Eat that delicious delicacy your taste buds have been
begging for. Be smart about it though, and limit it to one. Don’t
keep those goodies in the house, so opportunity is limited. Make it a
special occasion to dive into. Then remember that your whole day isn’t
ruined. Once you’ve satisfied that yearning for whatever has been
taunting you, you can put it behind you and move on.
Campbell County Health's
Wellness works to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee
groups and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. To learn
more about Wellness, please visit
www.cchwyo.org/Wellness or call 307.688.8051.
Rachel Wilde, PBT, CPT, MA, works at CCH Wellness as a Technician and Phlebotomist