1st July 2018
It is easier to avoid temptation than to resist it.
Walking Alfie at half five on a Sunday morning - do you know what temptations there are at that time of day? Zero! Maybe if I’d been a bit more awake (he got me up at 5am) my mind could’ve been tempting me with my thoughts but as yet it’s not fully working. But yesterday morning at half seven driving to work, having been up for 2 1/2 hours, well temptation was everywhere, my belly and brain were hungry and wanting something nom nom. In the couple of miles drive to my venue I passed a Greggs, Tesco garage and a McDonalds, all open they were! Driving home on a Thursday night I can’t even tell you the total of takeaway places I pass but I know to 2 pizza, 2 Indian, 2 chippy’s at least (slight detour brings even better ones), a Chinese, 2 Co-ops and all in a ten minute drive. How the hell are we supposed to resist temptation when we’re hungry or craving something “nice”? The Co-op have a £5 World Cup meal deal on at the minute 2 pizzas and 4 bottles of Bud for a fiver, bargain apart from the cheese one being 28SP and the double pepperoni 30SP which is great if you have half and loads of salad but really do you think that’s what happened to me Thursday night as I drove home after my 5 meetings and a 13 hour work day, do you think as I drove home craving something “nice” knowing there wasn’t anything quick in the kitchen. Do you think I walked in the Co-op having resisting said meal deal bargain all week and thought to myself ooo I’ll have it but I’ll just have half with salad! I’m not even answering that puzzle because you really wouldn’t need to copy the answer from the back for that one would you. Let’s just say mom enjoyed the other one on Friday, well she managed 3/4 which was the first proper food she’d eaten all week so I was pleased. Oh, what happened to the other 3 slices, erm again, you don’t have to copy the answer from the back for that one either.
How do we resist temptation, I so know I don’t always find it a problem, most Thursdays I drive directly home, Saturday mornings I don’t even notice there’s a Greggs on the way to work. After my meeting Saturday I wasn’t tempted to go in Lidl’s to get a cheap watermelon because I know that’s also where I also buy the best salted almonds in the world and I didn’t want to be tempted.
How come some moments or days the strength in us is strong and others it isn’t, our inner Yoda is nowhere to be seen with his wise and powerful Jedi force. No some days we’re just fuelling our inner greedy goblin and mine is a right imaginative mischievous and malicious glutinous and insatiable monsterous creature.
How do we tame the beast?
And have you noticed we rarely sit there or drive home thinking, ooo I could just eat a nice green salad with a glass of cold water! Oh no, that just doesn’t happen! Not to anyone I know anyway!
Let’s get practical shall we, I know it all so I need to remind myself and get practicing what I preach.
The first and obvious one is to drink water, I’ve been skipping that first pint because Alfie’s been taking me for a walk the minute I roll out of bed, and then I forget.
Eat more protein! And thanks to Flex you can do that for Zero Smart Points with the likes of chicken and turkey breast, eggs, unsmoked fish and pulses. Yep eating more protein can reduce your appetite and stop you from overeating. It also reduces cravings and helps you feel fuller and satisfied for longer.
Other things include distancing yourself from the cravings, I kept driving Saturday but other ways are to distract yourself are going for a walk, taking a shower, just find a way take your mind of it for a while.
Plan your meals, if I’d known what I was having Thursday night, I’d not have been thinking “What shall I eat for my tea” so I’d have been less tempted and less likely to be craving something scrumptious.
Of course it’s always good to avoid getting really hungry, that’s why I was ravenous Saturday morning I hadn’t eaten for hours (yeah I know I’d been asleep but I didn’t have a proper tea either).
Oh and find a way to handle or eliminate stress! Ha I hear you voice, I know it’s easier said than done but did you know stress can induce food cravings and influence our eating behaviours, especially for us women, when we’re stressed we have been shown to eat significantly more calories and experience more cravings than non-stressed women - duh really!
Also, stress raises your blood levels of cortisol, a hormone that can make you gain weight, especially in the belly area - boo! Now I know where this new extended belly of mine has come from, it’s all the stress hormones lol!
Okay, so as difficult as it is try to minimize stress in your environment by planning ahead, maybe you could try a bit of meditating (sitting quiet with your eyes closed for a few minutes will do) and generally slowing down where possible. Again I know that ain’t easy, but hide on the loo if you need to, pretend you’re having a number 2 and just sit there and close your eyes and take a few deep breathes.
Be more mindful when you actually do eat, enjoy it - taste it don’t just ram it in whilst watching tele and devouring everything short of your fingers. There’s a difference between loving food and overeating whilst not even tasting it.
Oh and get some sleep, our appetite is largely affected by hormones that fluctuate throughout the day. Sleep deprivation can lead to strong cravings, there are studies to support this, showing that sleep-deprived people are up to 55% more likely to become obese, compared to people who get enough sleep. For this reason alone, getting some sleep is worth a try.
Of course, eating proper meals will always help, hunger and a lack of key nutrients can and most likely will cause cravings. If you eat proper meals, your body will get the goodness it needs and you won’t be so tempted. Eat good snacks too and jobs a good un.
Well after all that and a dog walk, I’m ready for my breakfast, I’m think eggs with spinach because I’ve just read something about spinach extract with a meal may reduce appetite and cravings, so I’m thinking well if the extract does that, surely the real thing is better!
Here’s to a very great day, the sun is going to shine AGAIN, how fab is that. I know no one wants to hear “save water” but you know we should be, I’m now starting to use my washing up water to water my garden plants. I’ve just used Alfie’s stale water to water the houseplants. Just be mindful of your water use, don’t leave the tap running for ages and my favourite from when I lived in Torquay for a short time is regarding the toilet, “if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down” ;-) I’ll leave you with that thought, ha ha.