Holiday periods are a fantastic time to relax, socialize with friends and family and indulge in your favourite pleasures. One of those pleasure, of course, being food. While many people throw caution to the wind and overindulge in their favourite foods on holiday, the post holiday period is characterized by feeling blue (as the holidays have come to an end!!!) and a struggle to get on top of sugar cravings that inevitably occur as a result of days of decadence.
So how do you get on top of sugar cravings? The following tips are just some ideas on how to get back in track.
Tip 1: Don’t beat yourself up over your indulgence!
It’s normal to overindulge while on holiday, particularly as you are not in your normal daily routine and there are generally more social events occurring at that time. Beating yourself up generally leads to feelings of frustration, disappointment and guilt and if you tend to be an emotional eater, this will make it even harder to get on top of cravings. As the saying goes, ‘there’s no point crying over spilt milk’. Focusing on getting back on track will be a more useful exercise than focusing on what you’ve eaten while on holiday.
Tip 2: Change Your Perception Of Your Cravings.
Think of cravings as being a stray cat meowing at your door. The more you feed the cat, the more it keeps coming back. The same goes with cravings. If you don’t indulge your cravings, they may naturally subside.
Tip 3: Expect That You Will Get Cravings And Have A Plan To Manage The Cravings.
As simple as it sounds, most people don’t spontaneously think ahead that they will have food cravings following a period of indulgence. Although, if you have a big hit of sugar on holidays it is typical to want to keep eating the stuff for days afterwards, as it’s very addictive! Think about what might work for you and what has worked for you in the past when managing cravings. A simple plan such as, taking some nuts or piece of fruit with you in case you feel a craving coming on, is better than no plan at all.
Tip 4: Set Yourself A Simple Goal At The Beginning Of Each Day.
Setting yourself a simple and easily achievable health or nutritional goal at the start of each day of the post holiday period can be a great way to get your focus back on to health and wellness. Examples might be to increase your water intake if that has slipped, plan a healthy lunch, or try a new healthy recipe.
Tip 5: Associate The Craving With Another Pleasurable Activity.
Ignoring the craving or waiting it out until it subsides can be a pretty challenging thing to do, so it can help to think of the craving as a signal for you to engage in another pleasurable activity. For example, slow deep, breathing exercises can be a good way to distract yourself from the craving as well as make you feel relaxed in the process. As soon as you notice the craving coming on, fully engage in the alternative pleasurable activity.
Tip 6: Flex Your Craving Management Muscle!
Setting yourself the challenge of not indulging a craving can generally be a good way to increase your confidence that cravings are manageable. It can be easy to perceive that cravings are all encompassing and have control of you but when you experience having a craving and not going with it, it can build your confidence in managing further cravings.
Tip 7: Eat Mindfully!
If you find yourself making the decision to indulge in a craving, then make sure you eat slowly and take your time to fully engage all your senses in the pleasure of eating.