How often have you found yourself going about your day minding your own business and then BAM. You walk past a delicious smelling bakery or you see or hear someone talk about something yummy they’ve just eaten – and now, that’s all you can think about until you’ve eaten it.
What is it with us humans! It’s like life is designed to make us go against our healthy eating aims!
But actually, it kind of is if you think about it. You don’t very often see adverts for broccoli, yet almost everywhere we look there’s an advert for, or the smell of, something deliciously high in both fat and carbs. Food which overrides our feelings of satiation from eating (remember the tag line: ‘once you pop, you can’t stop’ – never a truer phrase!).
The one which does it for me at the minute is the advert for the big tubs of Magnum ice cream on the TV. It’s when they do the cross section of the tub, it makes me want to inhale the entire thing immediately! And now you do too – right?
There’s a saying that the more advertising a product needs, the less healthy it’s likely to be. I’m not sure that’s quite so true these days as you do see adverts for somewhat healthier choices – although personally I would like the majority of those tarred with the same brush, but let’s leave that for another day!
While we can’t change the whole world, we can change the way we view things. We can use the same powers of suggestions to create healthier habits and ideas.
– Surround yourself with things you do want to be tempted by. Buy magazines which inspire you to cook delicious and healthy meals. If you use social media, follow accounts which post yummy looking healthy recipes. Buy recipe books and enjoy trying out new food.
– Before you eat anything, check where your hunger is coming from. Is it in your head or neck/throat – which is likely a craving – or is it from your stomach, which is more likely true hunger. Likewise, if it’s something specific you want to eat, that is another sign you’re probably experiencing a craving rather than hunger.
– Consider the health effects of everything you’re eating, regardless of what it is, and you’ll soon start to see these tempting foods in a different light, without having to rely on your willpower.
– Likewise, don’t ban low nutrition food all together. Relying on your willpower all the time is not a long term solution, and enjoying the odd low-nutrition food is not a big deal in the long term. Just don’t make choices on the spur of the moment, and avoid it becoming too frequent a habit.
– Plan your meals. I’m a huge fan of making a plan today for what you’re going to eat tomorrow. It can be surprisingly effective, this is at least in part because it’s harder to unmake a decision you’ve already made than to just go along with the easy option because you haven’t got another plan.