As you move along with your fitness goals, cravings will show up. We all experience them and rarely are they for healthy food items. Often, the best way to get around these cravings is to know they’re coming and have a plan in place. So here are 7 simple ways to stay on track before you reach for the french fries, candy bars or ice cream.
1. Find your purpose: It is important to have an end result in mind, one that is more than simply cosmetic. Wanting to look good is a great motivation, but if that’s all there is, the chances of failure increase.
Reach for a specific goal. Maybe it’s the dress you wore when you were younger, running in a 5k or a triathlon. Find that goal that motivates you and strive for it.
2. Set detailed goals: One of the main reasons fitness goals fail is the lack of detail. Goals that are set too far out appear unattainable. As well, a goal is set but no other steps are considered to get there.
Start by setting a goal for one week. When you have reached that goal, start over. Set your exercise expectations small at first, like, “I will exercise 3 times this week”, and gradually increase them. It will become much easier each time and you will feel a sense of accomplishment. By chipping away at smaller goals, you are paving the way for success.
3. Eat breakfast as soon as you wake: After a night of sleep, your body is craving fuel. The longer you wait, the more the craving for something that will satisfy the immediate hunger increases.
By getting a jump start on your hunger, you are more likely to reach for a healthy breakfast of whole grains, fruit and protein.
4. Be Prepared: A pantry stocked with healthy foods and snacks is your best defense. If hunger strikes and you are not stocked with healthy food, you are likely to skip grocery shopping and head for the drive through.
Take note of what foods you have, write down what you need, and head to the store on a full stomach. The ideal pantry is stocked with healthy grains, lean protein, fruits, veggies and nuts.
5. Don’t be tricked into thinking you’re hungry: It may sound odd, but we have all been there. You just ate dinner, and yet, you find yourself staring into the fridge.
Ask yourself if you’re really hungry. Could you eat another full plate of food? If that does sound appetizing then you probably are hungry. If not, it’s probably not hunger. As well, change your activity. Anything will do, as long as it is not what you were just doing. A change of scenery can help the false hunger subside.
6. Understand that you will slip-up: When you are out with friends it can be hard to say no to “one more drink” or “Death by chocolate cake.” If you indulge, do not let this bog you down mentally. Slip-ups happen. So just be prepared when they do.
You haven’t failed your fitness goals or ruined your plan. Just forget about it and move on. Be ready to start the new day with your goals in mind. Set a goal of how many healthy meals you will have before your next slip-up. Five is a good number.
7. A cookie is a cookie: It’s getting easier to justify tasty treats today. They advertise with labels that say all natural ingredients and natural sweeteners. Yes, a naturally sweetened cookie is healthier than one made with refined sugar, but it is still sugar. Keep this in mind and “cheat” wisely.
Your hunger is no match for proper planning and being prepared in advance. Keep yourself motivated. Take each day one step at a time and before you know it, you’ll be feeling and looking healthier than ever before.