Sweet Tips for Managing Cravings after Weight Loss Surgery
Sometimes, eating right isn’t about managing hunger—it is about managing cravings. We’ve all been there before: It is just about time to call it a night and you are sitting on the couch watching TV. The house is quieting down and you are finally feeling calm and relaxed after a long day. You know it is best to just go to bed, but you can’t get the thought of a sweet snack out of your mind.
When cravings strike, the worst thing that you can do is act like it isn’t there. Sooner or later, pure willpower will give out and you’ll find yourself giving in. Instead of attempting to ignore it, the smarter choice is to overpower it by taking control.
You can do this by using the following healthy strategies:
- Instead of saying no, say “maybe later.” Research has shown that delaying gratification is much easier and more effective than saying no all-together. Even healthy people have enjoyable snacks time to time, and it is possible that you may be able to actually have a small portion of a piece of cake later without it being an issue. Now, however, may not be the best time. You need to consult with your weight loss surgeon about the appropriate role that sweets can play in your diet every once in a while.
- Try finding an alternative instead of giving in. If you are craving chocolate, and your mind begins to wander until you start focusing on cake and ice cream, then you are in dangerous territory. Instead of considering something very unhealthy as a snack, try having something much healthier. A chocolate protein shake or a small handful of chocolate covered almonds may fit into your dietary plan much better while satisfying your craving for chocolate. Talk to your weight loss surgeon and nutrition expert to come up with a solution that fits your diet plan.
What is a Craving?
A craving is a mental manifestation of hunger. When you experience a craving, your body isn’t telling you that it requires nourishment. Instead, it is your brain saying that the synapses that detect pleasure would like a sweet treat. When you are trying to improve your health and are focusing on weight loss it is especially important that you learn to identify these false developments of hunger and find ways to make it through the evening without undoing the great choices you’ve made throughout the day.
Plan ahead for a successful craving attack by purchasing healthy snacks that will meet your taste buds’ needs. In addition to having the snack ready to go, calculate the snack into your daily caloric intake ahead of time. Knowing that you have a budgeted snack ready to go in the evening can help you avoid the guilt and uncertainty that often comes with a craving.