A few weeks ago, I wrote how I never have to worry about weight gain now. I know what I eat will keep my weight in the same range. I eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full.
Many people ask me about how not to give in to cravings. Although it’s not a problem for me now, I wanted to offer some tips for others who are dealing with it, especially those new to the plant based diet.
There was a time that I would eat almost the whole container of a half gallon of ice cream in a day. I would be tempted to eat a large pizza myself. I mindlessly ate things never stopping to think what it would do to my body. I just wanted the quick rush of happiness I felt eating those foods. Except, looking back, I was actually depressed and not really enjoying those foods anyway.
When I first switched to a plant based diet over 9 years ago, I had a tough time giving up a few foods but something kept me from going back to those foods: determination. I was dead set against going on any meds for hypertension. I wanted to prove to my doctor that I could lose weight. That determination helped me to avoid the foods I used to love. And when I did cheat that first year, I felt the consequences of it. I wrote in my recent book that I remember one time after starting my journey, finishing a bag of potato chips that my co-worker bought for lunch. That night, my headache returned that I would often get prior to changing my diet. That was all the proof I needed as I made the connection right there about what food can do for the body.
Also, a huge motivator for me was hearing others comment about my weight loss and how good I was looking, although I was uncomfortable with the attention at first, I did not want to disappoint others or myself.
Prior to 2012, I could not walk by a tray of cookies without having one. I could not resit cake, pizza, red meat, on and on! Now, I can walk by any of those foods and not have interest in the least. Red meat in particular reminds me of dead flesh (which it actually is) so that’s nauseating to me.
Exercie is also a great way to avoid temptations for junk food. Ask yourself if you’re really hungry or just bored. If you go for a walk or jog, you’ll most likely find that the craving went away.
As an ethical vegan, the ingredients have become especially important to me. So when I cheat, it has to be 100 percent vegan. So, if my boss buys me vegan cookies on a special occasion (which she has), I will eat them without guilt. I know it won’t become a habit. But it’s critical that I know the ingredients for any food that I buy.
IT’s a learning curve, so don’t beat yourself up if you do cheat. Get right back to your eating plan and don’t waste time worrying about it. One bad meal is not going to undo all the good work you’ve done, but make sure it don’t become a habit to eat the junk food. And maybe you’ll be like me... where the potato chips made me sick and I never wanted to eat them again. Not feeling great can be a huge motivator!
For more tips, check out my book “A Plant Based Journey To Health” available on Amazon.