The way I see it, the problem with (high calorie, fatty sweet) food cravings is that one serving can lead to a binge where many more servings are consumed. What is better when a dieter has a food craving? Is it better to wait it out or give in to it? Daughter Janice Cristina and I address solutions to this challenge in our work-in-progress, A GOLD STANDARD: THIN and Something Else. This issue has many sides, and we disagree on how to best handle this. Because I am past menopause, admittedly I don’t have intense hormonal swing food cravings. She does and can wake up dreaming about pastries. When a vision of Dutch Apple Pie hits her hard, she decides whether she is truly hungry or not. Sometimes she eats something healthy, and the craving goes away. Or, if the craving is hormonal and only a slice of pie will do, she goes to a bakery and indulges, knowing that a slice is 340 calories. To burn it off, she hikes for 50 minutes. Or inline skates for a half hour. Or circuit-trains hard for a half hour. Anyway, this is JC’s “eat it but burn it off” solution. It keeps her from over-indulging.
A food craving can be stress centered. We don’t always have power over people, places, and things. If we can fix the stress, the food craving might go away after we take action.
Another way to handle a craving is by distraction. Go for a walk, research a dream vacation, or absorb yourself in something.
If I have a craving, I use substitution, a food that tastes something like the dangerous item. Instead of Dutch apple pie, I heat up some applesauce and squirt it with fat-free Redi-Whip. It has a way of satisfying the urge. Want pumpkin pie? Scoop out an ample amount (since the pumpkin without the mix is virtually calorie-less) and load it into a blender with pumpkin pie spices and a container of 60-calorie diet vanilla pudding. Blend it and serve it to yourself in a pretty wine goblet with some fat-free sugar free Redi-whip.
In our book, we have seven secrets in our “little gold suitcase.” Picture the suitcase as a gold vinyl hatbox with a handle, and in it are secrets for weight loss success.