First, ask yourself what it is that you are truly craving. Are you really craving food or is it some other need that yearns to be met: are you tired, irritable, angry, happy, or sad? If so, is there a better way to take care of that need like taking a nap, exercising or talking things over with a friend?
If you are physically hungry (tummy growling, weak, body demanding food to re energize,) it is time to eat. Try reaching for healthy food first to fill that need. It's amazing how much better you will feel when you feed yourself well.
If it's just a little treat you have a craving for, try to identify what it is you want. Something sweet or salty, creamy or crunchy, cold or hot? Many times, you can find alternatives that are less caloric and even a bit more healthy but will still satisfy that craving. For example, if your yen is for a cold, creamy and smooth treat and you are thinking ice cream, perhaps non-fat frozen yogurt would work just as well as Ben and Jerry's. Keep in mind, this type of eating needs to be done in a controlled, mindful manner.
When I have a craving, it's most often for something sweet and creamy. One of our MM Groupies told me about Weight Watcher's Dark Chocolate Raspberry frozen bars. I tried one yesterday, and I've decided it's my new favorite go-to treat! This is a great treat at a bargain 80 calories* that really satisfied my craving. They are a bit expensive, but since they come in 12 individual bars, portion control is built in. I also enjoy individually wrapped Dove Dark Chocolate Promises. At 42 calories** each, I love that wonderful, creamy chocolate melting in my mouth as I try not to chew them for the utmost enjoyment. Since the key with these is to eat only one or two, they work well hidden out of sight in the back of my pantry cupboard.
My husband loves the salty crunchy treats. He really enjoys Ruffles Baked Cheddar and Sour Cream chips that have a price tag of 120 calories*** for 10 chips. He's really good at putting one serving in a little bowl before eating them (he used to eat chips out of the big bag,) though when there are times of difficulty with control, he'll divide up all the chips into 1 oz servings and put them into sandwich bags. Another option would be choosing factory sealed individual servings of chips. Remember, even if they are baked, light, low-fat or fat-free, it's easy for many of us to overeat these less nutritious treats. Serve your self one serving, sit down, and mindfully enjoy every bite with no guilt!
I'd love to make a list of our favorite treats. What have you discovered that provides help for your less nutritious cravings? Let's see what we can come up with, preferable in 150 calories or under! Let us know!
*One Bonus Buy
**1/2 Bonus Buy
**1 1/2 Bonus Buys