cravings

Confession time...

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Gareth and I have enjoyed watching Masterchef over the past few weeks for a bit of relaxing evening TV. We are not big TV watchers, preferring to watch films or box sets, but Masterchef has been especially welcome in these cold winter, and even snowy, evenings! We enjoy learning about new foods that we can barely pronounce, along with imaginative ways of cooking 'said' foods, and try and guess if we would like the hopeful candidate's creations.

However, I recently noticed that I was getting “the munchies” in the middle of the programme, despite having just eaten dinner, and have found it a real challenge to avoiding mindless snacking.

This urge to snack has been compounded by the creation of arguably the best flapjacks in the world, made by my son Lewi! I’ve even found myself saying that he can’t go on his games console if the flapjack tin is empty! (Oh the parenting shame!)

But I realised this week, after speaking to Mary Rose, (one of our amazing Intentional Health coaches) was that the combination of the cold dark evenings, seeing the food on the TV, and having flapjacks readily available in the house has been a perfect storm of temptation for me - to the extent that I realised recently had succumbed and eaten six, yes you read that right - six! flapjacks in one day.

I probably don't need to tell you that this is NOT an example of a healthy balanced diet!

Before you gasp too much - I already feel even more shame telling you, because Lewi & Gareth have both been reminding me that I’m meant to be setting an example of being Intentional about my health! (proof that they are learning too! ;-))

But I have chosen to be brave and confess my downfalls to you anyway because I recognise I’ve been succumbing to cravings rather than been eating from a place of genuine hunger.

Hunger is a healthy response to a biological need. It is our bodies way of letting us know we are running low on readily available fuel. It is harmful to our bodies if we ignore genuine hunger!

Cravings, on the other hand, are a response to a psychological or emotional need - I’m looking for the flapjacks to satisfy the cravings I’m getting from a combination of; the memories of how Good the flapjacks are, wanting comfort in the cold, dark evenings when I’m longing for summer, and watching and imagining tasting the Masterchef food.

Now, obviously, there is nothing wrong with watching Masterchef, and I can assure you there is nothing wrong with the little pieces of perfection that are rolled into Lewi’s flapjacks!

BUT - I know that putting myself in the way of both of these, at the same time, when I'm already cold and longing for warm summer evenings, will lead me straight into temptation. And the more I succumb to these temptations, feel bad that I've eaten more than I should and been a rubbish parent, the more likely I am to develop an unhealthy habit of comfort eating whilst watching TV!

Downward spiral here we come!

So, to counteract those cravings before they become habits, here's my plan!

  1. Confess to an accountable community! (That- by default of you reading this -is you!) You can ask me how many flapjacks I've had at any time. That is a compelling reason to not eat more flapjacks.
  2. Other than the flapjacks I’ve asked Lewi to make for the image on this blog (which I have then taken to share at our church weekend away), I am going to be restricting the number of baked goods I ask him to make, at least until after the Masterchef final!
  3. Whilst Masterchef is still on or I'm watching TV, I’m going to do the ironing, drink a glass of water, or prepare a healthier snack like some fresh fruit instead.

If you want to find out more about the difference between a hunger or craving, why not take our Hunger or Cravings Quiz - you can download a free quiz sheet here.


If you want to start on your journey towards being more intentional about your health then why not download our FREE Intentional Health journey workbook by clicking the picture below, to help start your journey to living a healthier, happier life.

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Creating a habit of self control

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This week I have been really proud of my husband, Gareth. Since Christmas, he’s been on a ‘lifestyle change’ diet. He’s been focusing on being more self-controlled with his eating and drinking habits, and with his physical activity levels; and particularly be less controlled by his cravings and snacking between meals.

We recently bought him a new surfboard; he says it’s probably his last shortboard as he is getting older! So he wants to make sure he is as fit as possible to ride it well, and get the most out of it this summer.

Over the past couple of months, he has been intentional about getting enough rest, taking part in a regular physical activity routine, and avoided overeating and snacking between meals.  Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t bad most of the time; none of his behaviours are necessarily bad! But in the past, he has been tempted like many of us, to come home after a long hard day to raid the cupboards for snacks, or start with a large glass of wine and end up having half a bottle without realising!

He set himself goals and stuck them on the wall in the kitchen, and then each day he gave himself a tick on the elements he has been able to resist.

Each tick has been a little motivator for that day, but over the last six weeks or so, I’ve noticed his ability to resist temptation and be more self-controlled has increased exponentially.

Gareth has become more habitual at making healthy eating choices.

I have also noticed how this has spilt over into other areas of his life with his physical activity, and his increased work focus too!

Today, on a gloriously sunny day in Cornwall, he heads out feeling fitter and leaner as a result of the positive consequences of all his small self-controlled choices and now habits of being more self-controlled, and is off to surf his new surfboard for the first time this year! And I'm really proud of him :)

I think I can see an Intentional habit of surfing this summer being created before too long too!


We are running a series of webinars starting in a few weeks, including exploring exactly what habits are, and how best to create new ones. If you'd like to find out more then why not fill in your name and email address and you can be the first to find out more. FILL IN YOUR NAME AND EMAIL BELOW TO BE THE FIRST TO KNOW WHEN WE RELEASE THEM!


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