how to stop giving into habit and cravings

see ya later, cravings

food should not equal reward

I have always used food as a reward.

In year 12, eating the most delicious deep fried chicken patties from the local chicken and chips shop on a Sunday afternoon after  studying all day.

At uni, rewarding myself with lollies throughout marathon study sessions.

After putting the baby to bed, habitually walking to the kitchen to stand in front of the fridge, grab something and then eat in peace.

It didn’t matter so much when I was younger – faster metabolism and plenty of running.

It’s a habit that is hard to break.  Especially since the food I’m rewarding myself with is usually sweet – chocolate, or high in fat – cheese; or both – cake.

Breaking the habit is something that I’ve struggled with for years.  But like all bad habits, they can be replaced with good habits.  It’s about tricking the brain and not letting your brain think that it is being denied something.

how to break the habit

So, here’s what’s been working for me.

Tell yourself that you can eat whatever it is that you are craving.  Yes, anything!

The trick is to say that you have to wait 24 hours to do so.

It worked for me on Friday against the strongest of temptations – chocolate TimTam biscuits.


On Friday I was making my daughter her lunch for school and I included my favourite chocolate biscuit in the world – a TimTam.  As soon as I opened the biscuit packet, the smell wafted towards me and even though it was 7 in the morning, I wanted to give into temptation and eat every single last one of them.

Then I remembered what my friend Roxanne told me.  We started Michelle Bridges’ 12wbt program in May this year.  I didn’t complete it – in fact, I hardly started it.  I never watched the videos and I didn’t do the exercise.  And I didn’t lose the weight.  But Roxanne watched the videos and told me about this trick.

It’s okay to ‘give into’ the craving, but wait 24 hours to do so.  If you feel like it after 24 hours, then eat it and don’t feel guilty about it.

Here’s the kicker.

First you are not telling your brain ‘no’.  So it doesn’t act like a three year old and devour the whole packet of TimTams in protest.  Secondly, by the time the 24 hours rolls around, the craving has passed and more often than not, you don’t want to eat it.  You’ve back in control.

success, every time

It worked for me.  I told myself on Friday morning that I could eat as many TimTams as I wanted to on Saturday morning.  When I woke up on Saturday morning, the craving had passed.  I knew that I could eat the TimTams if I wanted to.  But I didn’t want to, so I didn’t.

I had a similar temptation last night after putting the kids to bed.  The old habit of eating the contents of the fridge was stopped in its tracks.  Because I gave myself permission to do it the next day.  Today.  And guess what?  Today that craving is gone.  This trick is breaking that habits that made me fat and keep me fat.

Give it a go for yourself and let me know – did it work for you?

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