The habit books would like to think you're a robot when dealing with cravings.
If you have a hankering for a Dangerous Dan's (R.I.P.) Colon Clogger hamburger followed by getting so drunk you end up doing doughnuts in a Walmart car park while drinking from a Pringles can, then the books will say no, no, no just do ten push-ups instead and celebrate with a nice fruit salad made from the saliva of baby unicorns.
We all know it's not that easy, and cravings is a helluva large topic to get into. So, here are a couple of more realistic, next-step tips you can make to take you from a 1 to a 2 in response to cravings.
1) Swap out the ingredients of your meals with healthier versions
Take a tuna mayonnaise sandwich on brown bread. Replace the regular tuna with low sodium tuna, replace the mayo with light mayo (saving 65 calories per serving but increasing sodium) and replace the bread with a sprouted grain version (similar total calories but zero sugar and 6x less fat).
This reduces the sandwich by 85 calories and a massive 29.5g of fat while still keeping the taste and satisfying the craving. Over a week, and at each meal, that's a huge saving.
2) Purchase mini-versions and just have a taste
Usually your brain needs just a taste to satisfy the craving. Consider buying stubbies of beer, mini soda cans and chocolate bars, and get kids size versions of takeout food - like McD's fries or Ed's Real Scoop.
One problem is that it's just half the size so it means I can have two, right!? Be wary of that.
These two tips won't cure your cravings in one go and as we said, it's a huge topic full of finding triggers and mantras.
But just taking action on one of these steps is far better than trying to jump from 1 to 10 where you'll most likely end up back at square one - drunken donuts in a Walmart car park.
Kevin & Victoria