We are all faced with temptation at some point.  Maybe you hit an afternoon slump, maybe you get tempted sitting and watching TV after a long day,  or maybe it’s just out sheer boredom when you are enticed to fall off your nutrition wagon–right into a plate of junk food (personally I always want ice cream when I watch “The Biggest Loser,” go figure).  None of us live in a bubble. And quite frankly, some of that crappy food just tastes awesome (….like some buffalo chicken nachos).  So how do we look temptation in the eye and say, “Beat it?”  So glad you asked.  While they may not work for everyone, here are my tips for overcoming temptation.

  1. Busy yourself.  One of my favorite ways to take my mind off the pizza in my kitchen?  Paint my nails.  I know it probably sounds silly, but next time you’re faced with a cupcake, give painting your nails a try.  It’s like the perfect storm; the aroma of the nail polish is anything but appetizing. It takes just enough concentration to get your mind off food, and even if you still want to stuff your face you have to wait for your nails to dry, which should take long enough for your craving to subside.  You can try to eat with wet nails, but you’ll end up smudging your manicure and eating nail polish.
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  2. Have replacements at the ready.  There’s a philosophy I subscribe to, “keep good food in the house and you’ll eat good food.”  Well that’s all well and good, but sometimes you crave something sweet and sometimes you crave something savory, well I do anyway! Hey, you may crave something bitter, for all I know.  I keep Medjool dates on hand for my sweet cravings and veggies and hummus on hand for my savory cravings.  I also usually have Extra Sugar Free Gum in either apple or key lime pie in my purse at all times, just in case.
  3. Pour yourself a drink.  Not that kind of drink!  Have coffee, tea, or water with cut up fruit, cucumbers and/or mint.  Having something with a little flavor will make you happy because it tastes yummy and it will take up some space in your tummy.  Just watch the artificial sweeteners and the dairy in your coffee, ok?
  4. Take a long hard look.  Strip down to your undies and look at yourself (front and back) in the mirror. You still want that brownie?  Listen, I’m not trying to be a jerk or “fat shame” anyone, but we need to be honest with ourselves.  If your body is not all that you want it to be, caving and inhaling some chips is only going to make your goal that much harder.  Why should any of us do anything (and I’m talking life in general, not just food) that doesn’t bring us closer to our goal?  Out in public and can’t disrobe?  Poke your belly and/or pinch the back of your arms.
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  5. Stretch it out.  Yeah I know this sounds hokey, but instead of eating that grilled cheese, stand up, reach your hands over your head and stretch.  Still want to eat?  Stretch your legs by going for a quick walk.  Most cravings are fleeting; so let yours flee.
  6. Retreat.  I won’t eat in my bedroom, mostly because nothing says “I give up” like eating a slice of pizza in bed (well maybe eating pizza in the tub is worse).  The bedroom is my safe zone, if I literally need to escape temptation I will scurry off to my room.
  7. Give in.  Oscar Wilde famously said, “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”  You know what?  He’s not wrong.  Sometimes you just need to say “the heck with it” and eat a darn piece of cheesecake.  Now I’m not telling you to go hog wild, or even piglet wild, but if you really and truly want something, eat it.  Now you cannot use this excuse to eat a BLT everyday. Use this excuse once or twice a week to reward yourself for a job well done.  A treat every now and then won’t throw you off track if you give 100% day in and day out.

Well I hope my tips help, but like anything else in life if you don’t want it and don’t work for it, tips mean jack squat.  Before you put mine or anyone else’s tips in play, you need to decide what you want and how badly you want it.  Do the work, build your willpower, and get ready to see the results. There’s still plenty of time to get into that bikini this summer!

What are your favorite tips to beat your cravings?  Post them in the comments or tweet me @HotelFoxtrot.  I can’t wait to hear them!

Featured Image Credit: http://www.truthnhealth.com/2012/07/8-causes-of-food-cravings/

Nail Polish Image Credit: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/nail%20polish%20tutorial

Stretching Image Credit: http://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/stress-management/arm-stretches

Burger Craving Image credit: http://wearetherealdeal.com/2010/05/28/the-psychology-of-food-cravings/