So there you sit. It is mid-to-late afternoon. The buzz from your morning yoga class is waning and your scrumptious lunch has worn off. You’re looking to make it through the rest of the day without losing all your steam and falling asleep on your keyboard. We’ve all been there. In fact, not just those times when we need an energy boost, but we often reach for something to chomp on when sometimes we’re just bored. I’ve been making an effort to stop for a second, before those cravings “win” and listen to my body. What am I really after? Do I need energy? Am I truly hungry? Perhaps that last commercial from Applebee’s threw you over the edge. Here are a few tips I picked up from Elephant Journal that I try to keep in mind when those pangs hit.
First, and the most obvious, is to ask yourself if you’re really hungry. And if your belly is growling, follow that up with a question about if the item in question (often the one in reach) is truly the best way to nourish my body. We’re all making an effort to eat better. We’re all trying to eat “closer to the earth” and keep our nourishment as healthy and “green” as possible. I don’t think that can of soda is the answer. (Although quick and effective!) Often we need to force ourselves to think beyond the next 20 minutes and even beyond the confines of our office.
Next, and this is a long-term progress project, is to learn how to substitute. If it is something sweet (sugar) you crave, try a piece of fruit. Certainly not as immediately satisfying as a chunk of dark chocolate (which is not always bad), an apple or other fruit can satisfy your brain and that sweet craving. Fat cravings can easily and happily be satisfied with nuts. They have lots of “good” fat and are more nutritious than a candy bar. The good news is as you train your body (and brain) to choose these options, your choices will become second nature. The feeling you have after a piece of fruit vs. a candy bar will be reward enough to keep on the track.
One of the best ways to do this is to carry these items with you. Plus, in this current heat we’re experiencing, an apple will fare better in your bag than a bar of chocolate. This goes for home too! Keep this stuff around the house so the decisions are easier. Having to seek out a healthier alternative is going to make the decision harder and you’re more likely to fall back into old habits. I should note that while these decisions are certainly better for your waistline as well, that is not the main reason behind this practice. The goal is overall health and well-being.
Another trick is to not feel as though you’re “limiting” yourself and your diet. Rather than feel limited by these self-imposed restrictions, enjoy the fact that most of us are very blessed and privileged to have these healthier options readily available to us. Take a trip to the next farmer’s market in your area and enjoy the bounty of these hard-working farmers. I know for a fact they will appreciate your patronage and your body will thank you. Follow the link up above for the whole article!