Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Craving Substitutions

In my post about Trail Mixes, a commenter stated she was impressed that I analyzed that the"hit" I was looking for from cookies was the crunch and the sweetness.

When trying to reach a goal, I always think its a good idea to really analyze why you are doing what you are doing.

I smoked for years. I started in High School when it was cool, and started my efforts to quit right after law school by which time smoking was decidedly uncool.

Now, I was never one of those people who was truly "addicted" to cigarettes. If the situation called for it I could go for hours without ever having a smoke, and didn't have to run out to the parking lot immediately afterwards to light up.

But, none-the-less, I found quitting difficult. When I analyzed why, I realized that it wasn't the nicotine in cigarettes I craved, but the actual act of smoking.

There where a number of situations where I would always automatically light up. For example, if I got on the phone to speak with someone I always had a cigarette in hand. I also always smoked when I was studying. Anytime I went to a bar or a party, I basically hung in the back with a cigarette (I'm not much of a drinker or a party animal).

I came to the realization, that I needed something different to do with my hands and my mouth when I was doing these activities. Kind of like Pavlov's dogs, when you rang the bell, my hands and mouth expected that cigarette.

My solution was to drink water. Holding a bottle of water gave my hands something to hold and my mouth something to do during those times when I normally smoked. Once I started doing this quitting smoking was a breeze, and I never looked back.

I think it's a lot like that with eating. If you're craving a certain food item intensely, it might not really be the food that you want. For example, if you always ate potato chips while watching a football game, it may not be so much the chips you're missing, but the activity of eating during the ball game.

Or, like me, if you crave cookies, it may be the sweetness and crunch you're looking for.

Once you analyze why you're craving, it becomes easier to find the healthier, low-cal substitute that will satisfy that craving.

So, don't try to just ignore your cravings. Really think hard about them.

1 comment:

  1. This is good stuff. I also really appreciate the idea and recipe for healthier trailmix.