Article By: Robin Westen
Unless you're wearing blinders, temptation is everywhere. TV, radio, billboard and magazine ads bombard you with the same message: "Eat." How can you prevent temptation from leading you astray?
Images of delectable foods saturate the media. Well-meaning friends and relatives offer you fries, pies and everything in between. How often are you able to resist?
If the answer is less often than your waistline would like, try these five "T's" to help you tame that temptation tiger:
When do your cravings strike? Mid-morning? Between lunch and dinner? Right after work? Midnight? Identify your most vulnerable time for when temptation strikes, and plan ahead by keeping healthy snacks handy. You can't eat an infinite amount of them, but they'll help you avoid higher-calorie indulgences.
Hitting the sack earlier is another timely strategy. According to psychological researcher John De Castro, PhD, of Texas' Sam Houston State University, exhaustion makes us more vulnerable to overeating. So the more you sleep, the less you're likely to be tempted.
Temptation thrives on all-or-nothing behavior, so turning down something you crave might only serve to fuel your craving. Just because a slice of cake is high in calories doesn't mean you can't try a bite or two—just be sure not to over do it. Next time you're at a restaurant, let someone else order dessert, and allow yourself a bite. Savoring a small taste can be surprisingly satisfying.
Let's face it, you know what foods are extra-hard for you to resist. So identify them and do something about it. That might mean keeping Ben & Jerry out of your freezer and pepperoni out of your fridge. Or it could entail finding another route to the bus stop if your regular route takes you past the golden arches. Knowing your triggers will help you tackle the toughest temptations.
For every situation that rattles your control, come up with one good rebuttal. Say, for example, the couch looks more tempting than that bicycle collecting cobwebs in your garage. Remind yourself that getting even five minutes of physical activity is etter than nothing. Focus on what you're getting—a fitter body—rather than what you're giving up—a sitcom.
Have you kept quiet about your weight-loss goal because you're worried you might not reach it? Many people do, often out of fear of failure. But in fact, says Vermont psychologist Sally Mattson, making a public commitment often has the opposite effect. Sharing your goal can strengthen your resolve and create a support community. After all, most people love to offer encouragement. You, in turn, may inspire others to lose weight—or at least discourage them from offering you tempting foods.