Do you have a trigger food? Or something you always crave when you are stressed (or hormonal)?
Mine is chocolate. No surprise there – most women would say the same.
Yesterday, I lost track of how much chocolate I ate. And it wasn’t even *good* chocolate – just chocolate chips and Annie’s chocolate bunnies. But the combination of stress while waiting for Congress to get its head out of its butt + my monthly peak in hormones (why, yes, I do have one day each month where the cravings are nearly unstoppable), meant I spent most of the day searching for anything chocolate to put in my mouth.
While this month was worse than some thanks to external stress, this is a monthly occurrence. So, I’ve come up with some strategies to minimize the damage that I do on my EAT.ALL.THE.CHOCOLATE days.
1. Move – Not only do I try to get in a workout of some sort, I get myself out of the house in other ways. Even if all I’m doing is grocery shopping, it’s time I’m NOT eating. And every time I walk up or down the stairs in my house, it’s calories expended to balance the inevitable siren call of the chocolate chips.
2. Drink – No, not beer. Although that was tempting while Congress was voting, I mean water. Or nuun. I’m kind of in love with my Sodastream. Not sure why water with bubbles tastes better than water without, but it does and I love it. Added bonus: there is no bathroom on the main level of my house. Drinking lots of water means I have to walk up and down the stairs even more.
3. Eat other things – Yes, I realize that’s still bringing in calories, but on days when I want to eat non stop, I eat a lot of mini meals. A bowl of cauliflower with cottage cheese on it (my weird but yummy current obsession) is a lot healthier than a handful of cookies. So eating a little bit of healthy stuff whenever the need to eat hits is better than always hitting up the chocolate. (This is a different strategy than the one I use when I’m specifically craving a food. This is for when I’m fighting the need to comfort eat or hormonal eat.)
4. Keep it boring – I do not buy Oreos. Have you seen the recent study that says they are as addictive as drugs? Duh. I’ve known that for years. There are other foods on my “Do not buy” list as well. These are my personal triggers. If I have them around, I eat them. And I can not be trusted around them. So, I don’t buy them. This means that at least some of the time, I walk into the kitchen wanting a snack and walk back out with nothing because I couldn’t find something I wanted.
5. Accept – MOST of the time, my eating is healthy. MOST of the time, I can talk myself out of emotional eating. MOST of the time, I choose vegetables over junk. But some days, that’s not the case. Some days the best I can do is minimize the damage. And I’ve learned to accept that occasionally I have those days and I get through it and move on.
Today? I feel a lot more calm and ready to embrace the vegetables.
How do you cope when your desire to eat junk is overwhelming? I’d love to hear your favorite strategies, ’cause I know that days like yesterday will happen again.