As you start your weight loss journey, realize there are some odds stacked against you – Food cravings and temptations. These are the things that made you overweight or obese in the first place. I and many others have had to deal with them and came out stronger on the other side. So, I’m confident you can too. It’s a continuous journey really, and you get better and less prone to falling for these food cravings and temptations.
You need to equip yourselves with tools to help you maneuver them. They are very simple tricks you can easily pick up and get better at using them with time. You just have to decide you are definitely wining, at least when it comes to your health.
It Is Not You Fault You Have Food Cravings:
I’m not just trying to patronize you, It’s the truth. It is not your fault you crave unhealthy foods and treats. We live in an environment that is designed to keep us overweight. The food business is a big business. And these businesses want to be profitable. To be profitable, the food has to be made in a way you’ll keep coming back for more. That means lots of sugar, oil, salt (SOS). Also added are chemicals – flavor enhancers so once you start you are hooked. You keep coming back for more.
There’s a barbeque, sharwama, pizza joint at almost every corner. Fast food restaurants and mama puts with foods loaded with oil, animal products, sugar and flavour enhancers. There are ‘mallams’ in front of about 5 houses on your street alone selling all sorts of biscuits and junk food.
The worst of them are restaurants online and offline painting themselves as selling healthy food. However, their food is loaded with oils, sugar, and dangerous additives, preservatives, and flavor enhancers. The fact that many of the CEOs of those companies are overweight or obese should have been a red flag for us. Well, we keep learning every day.
The environment is designed for your weight loss plan to fail, but we won’t allow it.
Our perception of healthy or non-healthy food is warped because we weren’t really taught. We get most of our information on nutrition majorly from the media and the people selling food to us. What do you expect them to say?
We also tend to eat more of what we grew up eating, trusting our parents made the right decision. This is another major reason diseases run in families. Apart from the fact that they may have the genes for those diseases in the family, the foods that promote such diseases eaten in the family may be the culprit.
I remember my mother-in-law once offering me vegetable soup. Told her I don’t take food with oil. She said it’s palm oil! palm oil is healthy. Where did we get such a notion? Palm oil like any other oil is highly processed to take out every other nutrient in the palm kennel and concentrate only the fat. Saturated fat in this case which has been linked to all sorts of diseases. Also, palm oil is 4,000 calories a pound, 120 calories in a tablespoon just like every other kind of oil. It will frustrate your weight loss plans. check out my post on Weight Loss Plateau – How To Break It On a WFPB Diet.
Change is required:
If you want to lose weight, you’ll have to make some changes. You can’t continue to eat the same way you used to and expect magic. However, don’t be afraid, that’s why I am here offering all these resources to you free. To guide you through the process.
My post on Best Way To Lose Weight Without Going Crazy gives you details of the changes to be made. I have lost 28kg (62 pounds) eating this way and I know you can too. It’s actually not difficult because you get to eat as much as you want.
When you are on this diet, there are some things you’ll have to stop eating obviously. The ones not good for your health that made you overweight or obese in the first place. When you stop eating them, they begin to call you. Trust me, they have a very sweet voice and you can easily fall into their trap. Here are some steps that helped me that I know will help you too.
STEPS TO OVERCOMING FOOD CRAVINGS/TEMPTATIONS
Get Your Family On Board:
I am not saying get them on the diet too though that would be an excellent idea. Let them understand that you are trying to make some changes to improve your health. If you are a mom, saying ‘so, I won’t die’ does the magic. No child wants to lose their mom. When I explained to my girls, they agreed immediately and were even crying. They even decided to go along with me on the path but not fully.
Having a supportive family goes a long way. However, if you don’t have a supportive family, find a group of people moving in the same direction as you for support. I may be creating a Facebook support group in the future… fingers crossed. Get some of your friends that are in the same boat as you to check out the many resources on this blog page. Then, help each other by working together as accountability partners.
Fill Your House With Healthy Treats:
If you feel like snacking and all you have in the fridge is carrots, cucumber and apples, that’s what you’ll eat. Don’t keep biscuits in the house even if it’s a brand you don’t really like. Since the one you like is not available in the house, you’ll be surprised you’ll start eating it. Like Chef AJ would say, ‘If it’s in your house, it’s in your mouth’.
Don’t try to use willpower, willpower always fails. May work first or second day by the third day you are eating it. It is better for it not to be in your house. Don’t bring the temptation into your own house.
If it’s something the other family members can’t do without, encourage them to buy as they need instead of having a whole box or pack at home. This is also why getting them on board is very key. If that won’t work, tell them to keep it where you won’t see it. I had to do this with noodles, they buy as they need.
Don’t Eat Tiny Portions:
The idea of eating less to lose weight has failed time and time again. The plan laid out in Best Way To Lose Weight Without Going Crazy is designed for you to eat more and lose weight.
Don’t try to eat tinier food and go hungry so you can lose the weight fast, it’ll backfire. If you are following the plan, eat till you are satisfied or comfortably full and you will lose weight. I have lost 28kg eating this way.
It is not about food quantity but food quality. Eat! but, eat well.
Always have food you can eat available. You can do your food preparation over the weekend and keep it in the refrigerator. Whenever you are hungry, there’s food ready or almost ready.
I always have chopped vegetables, blended okro, blended pepper, cooked beans and sweet potatoes in the house. This way, I can have my food put together in 2 – 15 minutes depending on what I’m making.
When chopping the vegetables, I put each kind in a different bowl. When I’m about to eat, i then make the mix I want. This way, if any of the vegetables get spoilt, it doesn’t spoil the whole batch.
Driving in Lagos traffic is like driving in a temptation alley… lol. All sorts of junk displayed before you to choose from. From high-calorie biscuits to plantain chip to gala, you really need to go in ready. Don’t go out hungry, eat well before you leave your house. You can even go out with some carrot sticks to munch on if the need arises.
Even though I don’t encourage eating in between meals, if it will help you navigate Lagos traffic, please do!
If there’s a particular food that is a DON’T in the plan, try to figure out a way to make an alternative using whole foods. It usually wouldn’t be too difficult. It may not taste exactly the same, but you’ll enjoy it. You most likely will now grow to prefer your alternatives.
There are a couple of recipes on this blog. Click on the recipes tab to your right if you are reading this on a laptop or at the bottom of the screen if on your phone.
Also, check out Chef AJ’s YouTube page for recipes. She’s one of my favorite and has also lost a lot of weight eating this way. She also talks a lot about dealing with food cravings and temptations. My diet just like hers is SOFAS(sugar, oil, flour, alcohol, and salt) free. The plan I recommend in Best Way To Lose Weight Without Going Crazy has all those removed too except salt.
Changing your diet can be quite challenging and removing the salt too, in the beginning, may set you up for failure. It took me about 6 months after starting to remove the salt. So take your time on that. You may reduce the quantity for now.
Getting Around Social Events:
This one can be very tricky. At many social events like weddings, birthdays etc, there’s usually an array of food on display. At least 90-95% of them won’t support your weight loss goals. What do you do then?
- Eat and be very full before going. This way you won’t have space to eat much if at all.
- Try to find the healthiest option on the menu. Usually, there would be a salad. The cream however will be loaded with oils, so ditch it.
- Pack your food and leave it in the car. This way, you have something to eat if you get hungry.
- Don’t attend if you don’t have to. This may sound extreme but really, if you don’t have to be there, don’t be. Your health is way more important.
If You Trip, Get Up And Continue:
Sometimes, on this journey, you may trip and fall into these temptations. It happens to the best of us. It happens to me somewhat often, but the frequency has reduced drastically with time.
When you trip, don’t give up and then continue to eat the junk telling yourself you’ll start again tomorrow or next week. Just stop and continue from there. You are fighting a serious battle here and the odds are stacked against you. If I can do it, anybody can.
Building resistance to unhealthy foods is like building a muscle. It may be difficult and painful initially but it gets better with time till it is almost second nature.
Now, It Is Up To You:
You have learnt how to defeat food cravings and temptations. I have shown you in steps how I defeated them. It is now up to you to take action. To lose the excess fat once and for all and reveal your healthier and younger looking self.
How would it feel like for you to fit sexily into a Uk size 8 or 6 dress? Think about it for a second. Or for your husband to be finally able to carry you especially during sex. *smiles
Don’t listen to the naysayers. Take action now! To your slimmer and healthier body.
Love you always.