Most of us on an LC diet develop coping methods to deal with our cravings. I’ve discussed some of these coping methods before, so excuse me if I repeat a few things, but hey, if it’s worth saying once it’s probably worth saying twice.
Let’s start with guilt. We wield guilt with great precision and skill to stop us from raiding the fridge at all hours of the day/night; think of it like a scalpel we can use to cut through our cravings. Just make sure you don’t cut yourself in the process, targeted guilt is fine, but don’t bring yourself down. Stay on target.
Another tool we find in our arsenal is substitution. I know I sometimes call this ‘transferrance’ – and no, I didn’t get that from a psychologist but rather from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld’s League of Temperance. The idea here is that rather than giving into the craving you substitute something else. Some people drink a glass of water or have a handful of nuts. I’ve gone the way of herbal tea. It does work, if you let it.
The next thing we can do is distract ourselves from the desire to eat. Read a book, go for a run, write… Treating our carb craving like a craving for addictive substances often helps. (This is not meant to undermine people who suffer from serious addictions, it’s an appropriate analogy however!) For example, if you find yourself sitting in front of the TV thinking you should be eating, is that a desire to be doing something with your hands or chewing? Are you actually hungry? Take up knitting, or get one of those hand crunch exercise thingies. Distract yourself until you can overcome the craving!
The next technique is something I like to call ‘self talking’, but it probably has a better word in more knowledgable circles. This basically involves talking yourself out of the craving by convincing yourself you don’t actually need what you want. Sometimes this has the best effect when addressing yourself in a mirror. Give it a try.
Then there’s always the remove temptations from your home, or remove yourself from temptations. This isn’t always possible, especially if you, like me, work at a cafe or bakery. You can’t always stay away from the things you need to avoid, I mean, hey! You need a life too, and not just one that revolves around your new lifetstyle. You also don’t want your friends to dump you cos you keep saying ‘no’ to every proposed outing in your attempt to stay away from things that might tempt you.
And finally, my weapon of desperate last resort, and the reason for this long-awaited post: the carb binge. Sometimes I just can’t stand it anymore, and for whatever reason I can’t fight any more I just give in and stuff my face with whatever I want. I pay for it the next day: bloating, tummy aches, sore throat, lethargy, and sometimes a headache, but at least I have my cravings under control. In the last year of weight loss, I’ve let myself go like this maybe three times. It really is a last resort and I don’t recommend it as it will make you feel like you’re starting over the next day, but if you have to, you have to, just don’t let it become a regular thing or it’ll beat the point!
And that’s all I’ve got for us at the moment. Any ideas? Comments? Coping mechanisms? Share share share!