If you've ever tried to lose weight and failed, one reason could have been because you felt like you were missing out on your favorite foods. If pizza, ice cream, french fries, chocolate, and cupcakes are completely off-limits, you're bound to go crazy from cravings that you'll overindulge, and your healthy path will crumble and vanish as quickly as that chocolate chip cookie in your mouth. Here's how to have success without the deprivation.
- Find good-for-you alternatives: While a bowl of homemade mac and cheese isn't the healthiest thing you can eat, that doesn't mean you have to live without your favorite comfort food. Try this low-carb version made with spaghetti squash, for example, when cravings hit. Taking on the fun challenge of finding healthier recipes of the foods you desire will not only keep your mind off the foods you shouldn't have, but it'll also keep them from expanding your waist.
- Don't eliminate entire food groups: No carbs, no gluten, no dairy — no way! Losing weight is about a lifestyle change, and you can't sustain a diet that forbids certain food groups. Instead of ruling out specific edibles, just limit them. Say no to refined carbs, but yes to whole grains and fruits. Eat low-fat dairy products instead of those made with full fat. If you're mindful of portion sizes, you can enjoy a taste that will leave you feeling satisfied.
- Be a planner: Whenever food is involved, it's easy to feel like you're missing out if you're starving. Stay ahead of your hunger pangs by planning out meals and snacks. Eat a little healthy something every two to three hours, and you'll feel more level-headed when confronted with a tray of cupcakes at a co-worker's birthday party.
- Allow yourself one indulgence each day: Cravings are completely natural, and giving yourself permission to indulge will tone down the intensity of the "I want this now!" feelings. Decide on one time each day that you can say yes to something small that your taste buds are focused on, whether it be a square of dark chocolate or a handful of potato chips.