Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Reader's Questions: Dealing with Cravings

Question: When I see fattening food, it's hard to resist. How do I fight that??

Welcome to my world - I've dealt with this dilemma for years!

The easiest (and annoyingly obvious) answer is to stay away from fatty foods. As you know, that's easier said than done.

But once you form healthier eating habits, everything seems to fall into place. This doesn't mean life's perfect and the thought of eating anything unhealthy never crosses your mind but you find it to be less challenging.

Tips on dealing with cravings:
  • Plan your meals in advance - A lot of people say they don't have time to do this but you have to make time for something that's important to you. Cook for the week on Sundays, decide where you'll have lunch during the week, always go for the healthier options in the canteen at work, have fruit and nuts at your desk at work, there are so many things you can do to make healthy eating easier :)
  • Avoid fast food restaurants - I won't call out any companies but you know them ;)
    Aim for sit down meals BUT If you HAVE to eat 'fast food', opt for grilled chicken with salads, burgers without buns and dressing on the side.
    Nandos (UK) - 1/4 or half chicken with mixed salad, sweetcorn, ratatouille or mushy peas... yum! Burgers without the buns, wraps without the creamy dressing (eg. mayo)
    Barcelos (Nigeria) - flame grilled chicken with garden salad or a pita with no dressing or order a burger without the bun.
    Jimmy Johns (USA) - My sister took me here over my Xmas break, I had an unwich and I loved it! An unwich is a sandwich/wrap without the bread. The usual contents of a sandwich are wrapped in lettuce leaves... loved it! Yet another reason I want to live in the States! Check out their website here --->  http://www.jimmyjohns.com/
  • Avoid getting to the point where you feel you're 'starving' - This is when you usually crave a quick sugar fix so make sure your meals are regular and filling. Remember protein is very filling so you can double you serving of fish, meat or chicken. Also bulk up meals with veggies.
  • Sweet Tooth? - Pacify this with sugar free chewing gum, a serving (small) of sweet fruit eg grapes, apples, strawberries, pineapples or dark (70+ %) chocolate. Dark chocolate contains much less sugar than regular chocolates
  • Don't deprive yourself completely - What's worked for me, and a lot of people I know, is to eat healthy 5-6 days a week and relax 1-2 days. On your 'treat' days, do not overdo it. Just because you haven't had pizza for 5 days, doesn't mean you should inhale a large pizza in one go ;)
    Doing everything in moderation is key.
If you have any questions, as always please ask. :)

Photo Credit: Scientific American


Vickii said...

This is my biggest dilemma too :( Thanks for the great tips!

Natural Nigerian said...

Great post. I think everyone struggles with this from time to time.

In the midst of her said...

Something that works for me is a hot cup of tea after a meal. With the time it takes to sip a hot cup plus the soothing feeling it gives me, by the time I am done, I've lost the urge to over indulge.

Ps... Still waiting on your thoughts about Ogi adura

Adura said...

Thanks for your comments ladies!

@ITMOH - Mid week post, I promise!

In the midst of her said...

hmmm... have given up on u oooh.....lol. bye!

Adura said...

Omg! How useless of me... I'm so sorry.
If it's not up before the end of tomorrow, please send me a virtual slap... that's if you haven't already!

*covers face in shame*

Just checking - your question was if it's ok to have ogi right? Because it is made from corn starch, it is high in starch and should be eaten in moderation. I'd say a mug (small) is a good portion. If you want to sweeten it, use honey or maple syrup. Frequency, I'd say - 2ce a week. I'll still post about this!