I’m hungry….

???????????????????Are you really?  Or are you craving?  Seems like a simple question.  When we are faced with something like this, it’s difficult to tell.  Yet at other times, we know.  Perhaps we are celebrating a special occasion.  We may have feasted like a Roman emporerer, but still indulge in dessert.   For most of us, this misstep won’t spell dietary demise.  Yet it can be a problem for anyone, if these slip-ups, add up.

There are many strange and bizarre lengths many try to alleviate cravings.  From swallowing diet pills which expand (some will expand in your throat if they aren’t swallowed quickly), to gargling mouthwash every time a craving hits, the possibilities though extreme, seem endless.

If you are brushing your teeth faithfully after every meal, perhaps the latter is more practical.  But I don’t think I prefer choking on pill to a craving.

Here’s another solution; a couple which may help.

1.  Drink first, eat last.  No, I’m not talking alcoholic beverages.  Alcohol can lead to dehydration–which may be the reason you believe you are hungry.  Dehydration can disguise itself as hunger.  If you are truly hungry after satisfying your thirst, drinking H20 or anything else will only go so far.

2.  Could you eat an apple, broccoli, or lean chicken breast?  If the answer is “yes,” you are probably truly hungry.  If not, chances are it’s a craving.  This idea I found quite unique–simple enough, and worth a try.  According to participants using this method, most of the time, they were experiencing a craving.  For these three women, it was estimated they saved a total of approximately 1200 calories between them.  This idea came from the Dr. Oz show, which aired Friday, August 16th; here in the Chicago area.  More ideas about handling cravings are posted on his site.

Battling the bulge is never easy.  Even the leanest and meanest find it an uphill battle.  Not every solution is for everybody; what works for one will not work for another.  It helps to be resourceful, avail yourself of current information, evaluate its practicality in your life, then apply.  Perseverance is also key.  So besides questioning yourself about the apple or broccoli, ask this:  “How bad do I want it?” Is that bag of chips or more on my plate worth an extra hour of exercise that day?  If not, you may want to rethink that second helping–or skip the dessert tray.

Getting in shape and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is like pursuing education beyond high school.  You are familiar with the basics, but realize you need more.  It is really continuing education.  There is sacrifice, tests to pass, and tests which you will fail–all while going about your already busy schedule. Therefore, it helps to know “how bad do I want it?”

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.  Questions? Comments?  Email me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

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