Are you longing for pizza or ice cream? Craving cake, cookies or camembert? Sticking to your calorie limits can be really tough when you’re hungry and your favourite food is calling to you, especially if you’ve been good all week – one bite won’t hurt, right? While it’s true that a little bit of what you fancy doesn’t hurt, if you find yourself exceeding your daily calories on a regular basis, it’s probably doing you more harm than good. But how to resist temptation?
1 – Put it off. Promise yourself that if you still want that muffin in an hour, you’ll have it. (Or when you finish work, or when you’ve mowed the lawn, etc…) Then drink a big glass of water, eat an apple, have a cup of coffee, and go do something else. In all likelihood, by the time your hour is up, you’ll have lost interest.
2 – Plan your food, and pre-prepare it if possible. Each evening (or each Sunday night, if you want to plan for the whole week!) take a few minutes to sit down and plan out your meals for the following day. Make sure to include some treats within your calorie budget, so that you don’t feel deprived. Having a plan to stick to can really motivate you to beat those cravings, as if you go off track your whole plan will be messed up. Preparing your food in advance is a great strategy if possible, as you’ll never be stuck for something healthy to eat when hunger strikes – and you won’t risk ordering takeout when the fridge is empty. If you didn’t do this before and you’re craving right now, it’s not too late! Get out your calorie counting app and plan the rest of your day. If there’s room for you to have a bit of what you fancy without going over your limit – awesome! Have a little bit, and savour both the food and the feeling of being in control. If not, plan out your next few days and include a treat or two to look forward to.
3 – Write down your cravings. Keep a notebook and every time you’re struggling to stick to your plan, write down how you feel. Talk about how you’re longing for a big sticky chocolate cake and how counting calories is stupid and how if you had a pizza your life would be complete and how you’re hungry and tired and sick of being on a diet and you want bacon, and you want it now. Then write down why you’re not going to give in.Write about how your long term health and happiness will give you much more pleasure and satisfaction than cake. Write about how you’re losing weight for a reason and how wonderful you’ll feel when you reach your goal. Decide that tomorrow, you will have a small slice of cake after dinner and fit it into your calorie limit for the day. Smile, because you’re unstoppable 😀
4 – Put your money where your mouth is. If all else fails, make cheating on your diet hit you where it hurts – your wallet. Make a bet with a close friend, family member, or stranger to hold you accountable, and make the bet specific to your actions, not the outcome. For example, don’t bet “I will lose 5lbs this month” – that’s too easy to put off until tomorrow in the heat of the moment. Rather, bet “I will not consume more than 1600 calories per day for the next month.” and make it real by wagering enough cash that it’ll hurt if you lose.
Check how many calories you should be eating each day to lose weight with our weight loss predictor and calculator!