Dear Cassey: How do I ACTUALLY control cravings and eat in moderation?

Dear Cassey,
How do you control cravings to stay on track? How do you eat carbs, sugars, and desserts in moderation, and what does moderation really mean? How do you create an ongoing meal plan without it taking over your life?
Thank You!
Building a Lifestyle

macaroon bite portion healthy lifestyle

Dear Building a Lifestyle,

THANK YOU for asking the questions that so many people are afraid to ask. Fitness experts make it seem so easy: “just eat in moderation…just control your cravings!” But I’ve totally been where you are, reading that advice wondering, BUT HOW?!!!

Guess what? It’s not easy. But give it time and consistency, and it becomes habit.

Let’s start with cravings.

Instead of trying to control them, learn about why you’re having them. Most of the time, cravings happen because:

  • Habit
  • Hormonal shifts
  • Stress
  • Dehydration

It’s really helpful to learn about your body and take note of when you have certain cravings. I’d really recommend grabbing a food journal to help you keep track! When I started doing this, it was kinda life changing.

My favorite thing is to find healthier alternatives for my cravings. Like banana “nice cream” or a mug cake. Both are YUM.  But sometimes I just need the real thing, so I get the real thing! Which brings us to your next question…

Eating in moderation

Soooo what does “moderation” even mean?!

For me, it means eating what I want, without eating to the point where I feel I might explode. I do my best to keep my house full of healthy foods, while keeping the stuff I know I’ll overeat out (most of the time).

If I’m eating pizza, I eat it moderation by having a slice paired with a salad or veggie. If I’m having dessert, I just order a small portion or split it with Sam. If I eat more than I “should,” I don’t worry about it.

Eating in moderating isn’t complicated…even though I know sometimes it seems like it is. All it means is adjusting the portions of your favorite foods so you feel satisfied, but not bloated or like you need a nap 🙂

And now the last question. I’m gonna throw you a curveball on this one because a healthy meal plan SHOULD take over your life. But not in the way that you think 😉

No, you shouldn’t obsess over your “plan” and what you “should or shouldn’t” eat.

No, you shouldn’t feel like you’re restricting foods or missing out on your faves.

NO, you shouldn’t feel guilty or punish yourself if you indulge.

But YES healthy eating should be a lifestyle.

This is the question that always had me like BUT HOWWWWW?! But I promise it’s easier than it seems!

The best place to start is with everything we just talked about for cravings and eating in moderation. Then, I really REALLLLY recommend using a food journal. It’s the best way to pay attention to what you eat and how it makes you feel. Next, experiment with  foods and recipes. So, try that mug cake recipe and play around with cauliflower rice, or zoodles or adding veggie toppings to your pizza. And have fun with it!

Get into the habit of finding balance at meals. If using an actual meal plan helps you at first, pick one that you see yourself sticking to. That means nothing that makes you feel deprived! After some time and consistency, putting together a meal that’s heavy on the veggies, lean protein and healthy carbs and fat will feel normal and natural…and won’t take much time or planning!

Hopefully this helps! I’m always posting amazing recipes and tricks that I find useful here on the blog, on Instagram and TikTok too!

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.

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