Just as athletes and fitness-minded people need to focus on how they train, they should also make it a priority to support that effort with sound nutrition. As easy as that is to write, we all know it can be easier to pull into a drive-thru and order food to go at the end of the day than to get a healthy meal. There is also temptation to have something sweet to reward yourself for hard work. If you consider the following strategies to avoid cravings when that moment strikes for you, the chances of your giving in will decrease and your chance for fitness and performance success will improve.
Go For a Walk
When the urge strikes you to grab chips or candy, get out of the house and take a stroll around your neighborhood. You can listen to music while you do this or talk to a companion as you walk together. This will help you get your mind off the temptation and onto something else. After 30 minutes or so, go back home and grab some water or fruit. You will have successfully resisted temptation.
Keep Junk Food Out of Your Reach
This one appears simple, but it can be a bigger challenge than you think. The theory is if it isn't around, you can't eat it, but how many times have you gone to the store hungry and grabbed something that would be simple to open and eat later? Eat a healthy meal, and after you are full, get rid of all the unhealthy food in your house. Since you already ate, it will be easier to get rid of it instead of keeping it around for snacking. After that, make it a goal to eat before you go shopping so you can think about what you purchase with a clear mind instead of a hungry appetite.
Brush Your Teeth
You might question this one, but it should make sense. If you've ever brushed your teeth in the evening and then had a snack, you know it tastes different and less appealing. So when you're wanting that soda or ice cream, commit a few minutes to brushing, flossing and using mouthwash. That taste you have in your mouth can help you curb the unhealthy craving for at least a little while.
Many times when people give in to pizza or burgers at a restaurant on the way home, it's because it's easier than committing time to prepare a full meal. If you commit one afternoon each week to preparing extra meals, it will make sticking to your plan easier. All you will have to do is pop your container in the microwave to heat up your food. This convenience makes sticking to a diet much simpler.
Remind Yourself of the Goal
At the end of the day, you have to decide whether you want the short-term satisfaction that comes with the taste of the food or the long-term success that would come by remaining focused and committed. Whether you have quotes on your phone, notes on the fridge, or anything else that reminds you of why you made the decision to follow your plan, keep it where you can see it often so it will motivate you to drink water instead of juice and eat salads instead of sandwiches.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock