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What are some things you can do to distract yourself when you feel a food binge coming on?

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Food binges are the worst for me in the evening. I can do so well for the whole day. Then it gets to about seven or eight and my mind starts to do a mental walkthrough of the fridge and cupboards. “What can I snack on that won’t kill my progress?”

The first and most obvious thing for me to do is get away from the food and start moving… hop on my bike or elliptical, go for a walk, or put in a workout DVD. This works best for earlier in the day, though. I tend to be showered and relaxed in the evening. It’s not really the time I want to get all sweated up again.

Cleaning is a big deterrent for me. Something about scrubbing and organizing is therapeutic to me. Like exercise, it’s best left to earlier in the day, so that I can shower and clean up afterward. No one likes to go to bed feeling grimy.

Another thing I can do is to distract my mind and my hands with a knitting project. It has to be a more complicated design… charts and all… to keep me focused enough to avoid food. Easy patterns are too “mindless” and leave room for going back to that mental tour of the kitchen. A good book can also work much like a good knitting project.

And then there’s journaling. The urge to snack is what reminded me that I hadn’t done today’s Spark Coach session and this blog post. What a timely topic it turned out to be! Journaling about what you’re feeling in the moment can be really helpful in finding the things that trigger behaviors. It’s a great opportunity to re-visit goals and resolutions to see how to get myself back on track. It’s also entertaining and enlightening to go back and read thoughts from other days… it helps you see how far you’ve come and how far you have to go.

What helps keep you on track when cravings hit?

Learn what Rediscovering My Spark is about.

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