Lots of people have asked me how I deal with cravings so I thought I'd make my first proper blog post about that topic.
I really haven't had any troubles with cravings since the first week or two, I seem to be very much in control at the moment. Initially it was hard though so I'll share a few strategies that helped me through the early stages.
1) When I craved something delicious and mouth watering that I used to enjoy, I would simply say to myself - "you can eat what ever you like, after you eat a big plate of potatoes". That was an easy deal to make, I wasn't telling myself that I could never eat that stuff again, so that relieved that pressure and I really meant what I was saying to myself. The trick is though, that after I'd eaten a big plate of potatoes there was nothing else that I actually wanted so then it was easy to say no to the craving because they were gone! It's pretty common for people to say that you should never go shopping on an empty stomach because you'll end up buying a whole heap of shit that you shouldn't eat. I'd like to extend that though and say that "you should never think about food on an empty stomach!". Fill up on something healthy first and then see what you crave.
2) When I get a craving for something bad, I think of this scene from The Matrix. "You've already been down that road, you know where it leads and I know that's not where you want to be." That line fits perfectly in with cravings for bad foods. I know exactly what those foods taste like, how I'll feel after I eat them and the path of self destruction they'll lead me down, even if I only have them "just this once". Every time I have the opportunity to eat something bad I compare it to this scene from The Matrix and ask myself if I really want to find out what life is about or if I want to head back down the same sad old road.
3) We often think of giving up all those delicious and amazing foods as a big sacrifice and wonder if it's all really worth it. I like the saying "If you don't sacrifice for what you want, what you want becomes the sacrifice". So I remind myself that really what I'm faced with is a choice between two sacrifices - either sacrifice the delicious foods or sacrifice my long term health, fitness and happiness. When I look at it that way the choice is easy.
Like I said, after I made it through the first week or two the cravings went away, so it's good to be aware that it's possible to make it through and be rid of them. But I also remain aware that if I finally do think I have it beaten for good and decide to try some junk food, I'll be back to square one and in danger of heading back down that same old road to a place I never want to be again.