I had the same conversation with two people this week so I figured it’s bloggable (to coin a phrase).
It started with people telling me they really craved cheese. Which I can identify with because I crave pizza all the time. I love pizza, I love pizza more than any member of my immediate family and more than all members combined.
But I don’t crave it after breakfast. My breakfast is banana slices, walnuts, and dark chocolate crumbled in a bowl and then I eat three eggs.
When you’re craving cheese I suspect it’s because you’re craving fats, so just sub out the bad fats for good. Bananas, avocados, nuts are all high in fat. Or you could have a better cheese like a goat cheese feta, and probably notice the craving to eat delivery cheesy bread disappear.
Or it could be you’re craving some warm comfort food, of which pizza is the ultimate, so do up a bowl of proper oatmeal or a chicken noodle soup.
I know you want cheese and think chicken noodle soup won’t help that but as an experiment before you eat the soup or the oatmeal write down how much you want cheese on a scale of 1 – 10. Then afterwards check if you still want it that much. If you do, really, then go for it because you’ve already covered some nutritional bases and you’ve already eaten so you won’t binge, go ahead.
Now another craving I got asked about was sugar. This is pertinent to me because when one quits drinking they’re actually dropping their sugar consumption considerably and the body don’t like it. Well, it does because you’re getting healthy but your cravings don’t always care what’s good for the body. Anyway when I was first researching sobriety I read that sugar cravings are a natural part of it and I let myself have – shudder – the occasional soda in those days.
Today if I had a sugar craving – or a beer craving which I’ve found can be cured by having something sweet – I’ll go for an apple or an orange, maybe a high fiber bread.
Or the best option, I’ll pull a Tim Ferris and just look forward to the weekend. When a craving hits hard Monday to Friday I’ll make a mental note of what treat I want and then look forward to it. Anticipation like that is going to bring you a lot more joy over the week than an ice cream sandwich now that’ll be gone in a minute.
I also suspect that having your other electrolytes in order would reduce sugar cravings. Magnesium, potassium, and sodium. So again nuts are a good idea. I eat 90% dark chocolate as a healthy (believe it or not) treat and it’s rich in electrolytes plus it’s a mood booster.
So there you go, when you have a craving:
- cover your caloric and nutritional needs first
- find a healthy substitution
- or just tough it out til cheat day and feel like a spartan