Food cravings are a normal part of everyone’s experience with food. It doesn’t matter if you are dieting or not dieting, at some time you will have a strong desire to eat a particular kind of food. Very often your craving will be for salty, sweet, or some type of calorie-rich food.
Right along with the craving, especially if your goal is to try to lose some weight, you may feel ambivalent about satisfying your craving. Should you or shouldn’t you? You really shouldn’t, but you feel like having it. What should you do? What will you do? What will make the difference between satisfying your desire and denying yourself what you crave?
One thing that can make you turn away from your desire is feeling guilty. If you are on the verge of deciding in favor of satisfying your craving and you feel guilty for doing it, you might just use feeling guilty to shut the door on your craving, at least this time around. Or if feeling guilty doesn’t kick in until after you start to satisfy your craving, you might use feeling guilty to limit the quantity this time or the frequency with which you satisfy your cravings at other times.
What happens, though, if feeling guilty doesn’t have this kind of limiting impact on you? What might you do then? Did you ever think of simply satisfying your craving. Yes, that’s right. Satisfy your craving. Eat the piece of chocolate or the chips or whatever. Why not? Are you afraid that if you satisfy your craving by eating off your weight loss regimen, something more serious could happen? Like what? Like eating too many or too much? How likely is that for you? If you are prone to binging, satisfying a craving can no doubt end up in a binge. Binging, though, is a lot different from satisfying a craving. Binging is something you will have to work on in a whole different way.
The value of satisfying rather than suppressing a craving is that once you satisfy your craving you can move on. Think of it like a diet cheat. A diet cheat is just part of the process of dieting. Everyone cheats. It’s actually good to cheat. Cheating on your diet, if you do it only to a certain extent, gives you opportunities to go off your diet and then go right back on. In the process you learn a number of things. You learn how to eat too much food, if that’s the nature of your cheat, or you learn to eat calorie rich food and then go back to eating the kind of food that enables you to lose weight. By cheating and going right back to your weight loss routine, you can gain more control over your old weight gaining eating pattern. By eating off your weight loss regimen, you are also preparing yourself for the phase of weight loss that comes after you reach goal weight, when you are no longer on a weight loss regimen and have to know how to modify your eating if you eat a little too much here and there.So if you can’t solve your craving conflict, should you or shouldn’t you, by choosing “shouldn’t”, and you can’t solve it by feeling guilty beforehand or during or afterward, then by all means indulge yourself, satisfy your craving, and then get right back to your weight loss regimen with a big smile on your face.