Don and I passed the 4-week mark on our new eating plan. We’ve developed sustainable new habits, yet the lure of the old favorites is still strong at times. I’d like to share 4 ways to combat the cravings when they come, using the acronym f.o.o.d. (of course!)
Focus on Results, Not Food
Do you let the fast food images from commercials replay in your mind, over and over? I’ve found that if I get hungry and crave potato chips, for example, and I replace those thoughts with what how much better I feel and the weight I’ve lost, the thoughts quickly fade. It’s when I allow the tempting thoughts to stay in my mind for longer than a few seconds that I’m more likely to give into temptation.
Opt for Healthier Choices
When the junk food craving comes, make sure your pantry and fridge are stocked with plenty of fruit, cut veggies like carrots and celery, protein bars, and almonds. If you have junk food in your house for others, exercise your will one moment at a time to make the right choice.
Make a list of what you want to eat for meals for the week, then shop for everything you need. Allow ample time to prepare the meals, either that day or ahead of time, so you’re not tempted to skip what you planned and opt for something easier but less filling. When we don’t eat enough for dinner, we’re hungry an hour or so later, which is when the temptation to have dessert or a snack kicks into high gear.
Determine to Stay on Track
We all have certain foods we know we should not eat. Cookies, donuts, and bread…oh, nothing like fresh bread served at restaurants! We can even be tempted in the grocery store when we have to walk by the chips aisle to get to the nuts. So what to do? Set your mind before you go that you’re going to resist temptation. Then do what it takes. For example, let the waiter know up front that you don’t want bread. The more you say “no” the easier it will become.
Last but definitely not least, involve God in everything. Offer up all your efforts to God as a sacrifice of praise. Thank Him for creating food for us that nourishes our bodies. Ask for His help to combat the cravings the moment they hit. He cares, He’ll guide you to what’s best for you. Learn to rest in God’s loving care – trade your stress for His rest.
You don’t have to journey alone. God is with you every step of the way…if you choose to invite Him along. With His help, eating right is not only possible, it’s joyful and stress-free!
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
(Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)