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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
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