4 Women Break Their Bad Eating Habits
Confessions of a Chocoholic
Name: Allison Hillman Buchalter
Profession: Healthcare educator in Baltimore, Maryland
Height: 5'7" Weight: 125 pounds
What She Gave up: Chocolate
For Allison, it wasn't the amount of chocolate she ate that concerned her but the intense cravings she got -- and the erratic behavior they caused. "I scrounged around my cupboards and car looking for chocolate," she confesses. She ate chocolate every day and felt that no sweet was worth eating unless it contained (you guessed it) chocolate. "I worried that I was too dependent on it, and even though I didn't have all-out binges, I felt anxious about it afterward, like I had a real addiction."Nightmare...or No Big Deal?
Nightmare. Not surprisingly, Allison struggled the most of the four women. She couldn't find any foods to satisfy her cravings and admits that she thought about going on a chocolate bender daily. "I started eating slice-and-bake oatmeal cookies at night," she says. "I ate more sweets than I did when I was eating chocolate!"
Even worse: Once her 30 days passed, Allison ate brownies every night for a week. According to Blatner, for Allison, full-out deprivation backfired. A better strategy might have been to limit chocolate to every other day instead of banning it entirely.Cut It Out
If, as for Allison, something is an absolute, nonnegotiable, must-have-it-every-day treat, denying yourself can cause bingeing, bingeing, and more bingeing. Allowing room for a beloved food -- and practicing portion control -- can help you manage intense cravings. For chocolate fiends, Blatner's favorite is CocoaVia's 80-calorie Chocolate Snack Bars. "They're portion-controlled and delicious, plus dark chocolate has heart-healthy antioxidants." If you still feel that a food has too much of a psychological hold, consider the circumstances in which you desire it. For example, if you crave a certain snack after a stressful conversation with your mother, avoid it during those times and save it for when you're more relaxed (take a walk or count backward from 10 to ease the stressful moment). Soon you'll start to associate it with pleasure instead of tension, which can help rein in out-of-control cravings.
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