Have you ever had a “good” day where you have eaten really well, kept a perfect NC diary with green ticks all round and good food choices … and then watched in horror as it all goes terribly wrong when you give into a sudden craving for something (fatty, sugary, salty) and pile on the calories ? Me too.
Try using this 10 minute rule. It doesn’t make it easy or fun, but it does make it more possible for me to resist a craving. I have noticed it is easier to do when I am working on my list of advantages of losing weight regularly because then they are in the front of my mind when I need them.
When a craving strikes:
- Move away from the food. So you can’t see it (or hear it calling to you!)
- Rate how strong the craving is on a scale from 1-10
- Wait 10 minutes
- Fill that 10 minutes by renewing your motivation.
- Write your list of advantages of losing weight (if you haven’t already) or work on it.
- Consider what will happen if you do eat whatever you are craving. Not how lovely it will taste, but what will happen after you have eaten it: will you feel guilty, over full, angry/disappointed with yourself?
- Imagine your disappointment and crossness when you next stand on the scale and have put on weight.
- Do something distracting – preferably that you can’t do while eating: use the NC forum; go for a walk; pick up your knitting / colouring; play the piano; paint your nails; have a bath; kiss someone you love.
- When 10 minutes are up: how strong is your craving now ?
If the strength of craving has stayed the same: that’s great. You’ve resisted for 10 minutes already, so you can do another ten minutes: you know you can, because you already have!
If the strength of the craving has gone down: that’s fantastic. You’ve resisted a higher level craving for 10 minutes, you can certainly resist this lower level one for 10 minutes.
If the strength of the craving has gone up: be honest … how did you spend the 10 minutes? Were you thinking about either (1) how lovely the food would be or (2) how deprived / sorry for yourself you feel that you can’t eat it? Go back and start again: but make it easy for yourself this time and follow one of the strategies above.
Remember you always have a choice: short term loss of a craved food/drink versus long term loss of weight? No contest really!