A while back I posted a video on my second channel called, "How To Eat Organic On A Budget." The video basically shows how to create a budget for yourself while grocery shopping, and how to be aggressive in sticking to that budget, no matter how big or small. If you notice in the video, I mainly purchased raw ingredients (vegetables, fruits, meats, etc...) and the only "snack" that I picked up was popcorn!
When Filipe and I go grocery shopping, we hardly ever purchase processed snacks, (ie. bakery sweets, chips, candy), unless it's a special occasion, or we're going to a gathering of some sort where we know it'll be consumed. Why? Well, one of the easiest ways to control your sweets intake is to not allow it in your home!
Although we may want to purchase chips or ice cream, we avoid doing so, because if it's in our house, we're more apt to eat it, (and eat it we will... like, all of it... that day) even if we're not necessarily craving it. By not having it in our home, it forces us to get off our lazy butts, and leave the house to satisfy the craving for chips, chocolate, ice cream, or anything junk food-like, when it hits.
Think about when you most often get sweet cravings... usually at night, when you're up late. So by not having it in your home, you force yourself to really analyze how badly you actually want that item, because to actually get it means you have to leave the house, and drive to the store to buy it. So the craving would have to be really strong in order for you to go through all that.
Not purchasing sweets has saved Filipe and I on consuming countless empty calories time and time again. I can't tell you how many times we've said "I want chocolate!!" Followed by ".. ugh, but I don't want to go get it. Will you get it for me?"
-- "No, I'm tired!"
-- "No, you go get it."
"Ugh, forget it." Then reaching for an orange instead.
There are times when the craving is strong enough to actually leave the house to purchase the item, but that's very rare, because, well, laziness usually outweighs satisfying the craving.
If you do go out to satisfy your craving, don't purchase a huge portion that you know you won't finish. It'll just end up back in your house to be consumed on another date. Instead, purchase the smallest individual portion you can find, just enough to satisfy the craving, and something that you know will be finished that night.
If you do purchase more than you need because of the whole "eyes-bigger-than-stomach" factor (i.e. king size bag of peanut M&M's...) toss any leftovers in the trash. WHAT!? Yes, toss it in the trash. Open the bag and dump all of it's contents in the trash, making sure the contents touch the trash, that way you don't pull a George Costanza in a moment of weakness and dig it out claiming "...but it's still in the wrapper!"
This seems drastic, but once you've satisfied your craving, there's no need to keep the junk food in your home. It just guarantees that you'll be eating it again the next day, even if you aren't craving it. I'd rather throw out the remainder of the junk food and waste a dollar or two, than have it in my home to tempt me the next day. That's how poor eating habits are formed.
If you consume an item more than once, it's more likely that you will become addicted to the flavor profile, than if you had only consumed it once. So don't leave that junk food in your home. Once you've satisfied your craving, it'll be easy to toss the remainder in the trash. It'll also help you control how much you purchase the next time your craving hits. Next time you'll save your money and reach for the snack-size pack instead.
During the week, Filipe and I will usually snack on popcorn, apples, oranges, and avocados. Our after dinner dessert is usually just oranges... we LOVE oranges. We probably eat about 4 oranges each, every single day. It's an obsession, but it satisfies our sweet cravings during the day and after dinner; they're super sweet and delicious. I'll also heat up a pot of herbal, caffeine-free tea which tends to fill me up after dinner. If I'm craving a little sweetness, I just add extra honey to my tea, and I'm good!
One Step At A Time
If you're used to having sweets in your home, don't go cold turkey, you might go crazy, lol. Instead, purchase healthier, lower calorie snacks to replace your typical sweets. Or eat healthy items with the same flavor profile. Off the top of the head, some easy substitutions are:
Instead of Chips: Popcorn (Satisfies your salty, crunchy craving)
Instead of Cookies: "Natures Valley" Plain Granola Bars - Type shown in image below. NOT the trail mix, chewy, yogurt/chocolate covered kind (Satisfies your Sweet, Crunchy, Salty, and Carb craving)
Instead of Chocolate Bars:
1) Dark Chocolate Chips - The highest cocoa content you can find - (Satisfies your chocolate craving in smaller portions. The strong dark chocolate flavor is less sweet, so you are able to stop eating it quickly once your craving is filled. Much better for you than milk or white chocolate. Even if you don't like the taste of dark chocolate it WILL satisfy your chocolate craving, and it might be good that you don't digg it. That way you won't eat a lot of it)
2) Cocoa Powder - (Sprinkle a bit over some greek yogurt for a healthier "chocolate pudding" effect)
Instead of Ice Cream: Greek Yogurt with mixed berries, honey, and/or a couple of chocolate chips (satisfies your thick, creamy dairy craving. The texture of great thick greek yogurt is extremely satisfying)
Instead of Greasy Nachos: Crisp romaine lettuce salad, topped with pepper jack cheese and salsa (satisfies that crisp, cheesy, spicy craving)
These are just a couple of quick substitutions that really help to curve that junk food craving. When your body craves junk food, or sweet snacks, it's really just craving the flavor of it. You don't actually have to eat the exact item that your craving. Just offer your body a healthier option in the same flavor profile and your body will be instantly satisfied.
So I hope these tips help you to control your junk food cravings! They work extremely well for me and Filipe! If we can do it, so can you!
Talk to you guys later!