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Pushing Your Buttons… Some Thoughts on Cravings from

Published on October 15, 2012,

These days temptation is almost everywhere and for anyone on a low carb diet it will often take the shape of high carb or sugary snacks. Sometimes it seems we just can’t resist but what’s even worse is that once we’ve succumbed to the first bite we just can’t stop, even long after we’ve stopped enjoying the thing we are eating. Paleo dietician Amy Kubal considers this phenomenon and gives some advice on how to avoid this trap. This is from…

A Picture of an Staples, Inc. easy button

Don’t Push The Button! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s kind of like when you’re walking through the toy section at Target; you know – there’re those toys that have the buttons that say “push me”.  Now, it’s likely that you aren’t even remotely interested in buying that troll looking doll that sings AND dances; but not pushing the button is completely out of the question.  It’s like a magnetic force that draws your finger directly to it – Can. Not. Resist. Force.  You did it, pushed that button, and now the toy is singing (extremely loudly) and doing something that sort of looks like convulsing (think Elaine dancing on Seinfeld – “the full body heave”).  Needless to say, people are turning your direction to see what all the commotion is about.  Frantically, you search for the off button and find that THERE ISN’T ONE!  There is no way to turn this thing off, and just your luck, the song of choice just happens to be endless and annoying.  (Sort of like this introduction…)  You think to yourself, “why did I push that damn button”, even though you say that EVERY single time you do it.

If you haven’t figured out where this is going yet, let me help you.  Let’s consider that bag of chips, can of nuts, or bowl of candy.  You don’t really ‘want’ the stale Dorito, cashew, or piece of candy corn, but it’s there and just one won’t hurt, right?  It’s like that magnetic force is drawing your hand to the food and putting it in your mouth, and now it’s too late.  The button has been pushed and there is NO STOPPING until the entire bag, can, or bowl is empty and maybe not even until the entire day, weekend, week or month is over.  The button is stuck and the off switch is nowhere to be found.

What is it with this phenomenon?  Why is it SO impossible to stop once we start?  And why the heck do we start in the first place?  First, let’s identify the trigger – are you having a bad day, are you happy, bored, or did the food just ‘appear’ (think complimentary tortilla chips or bread at a restaurant).  Any of these reasons, along with a laundry list of others, can drive us to push the ‘on’ button and give into our cravings, emotions, or even peer pressure.  There are also all of these crazy chemicals and hormones in our brains that drive us to keep pushing the ‘on’ button even when we know we shouldn’t, don’t want to, and aren’t even going to enjoy it.  It’s exactly like the toy and the song – at first it’s cute and catchy, after awhile, yeah, it’s still cute but the song is starting to get a little old.  By the time the toy FINALLY stops singing you swear that if you EVER hear that song again, someone is going to get hurt.  In the case of, let’s say M&M’s, the first ten or so taste great, the next ten are still pretty good but not quite as good as the first.  The ‘on’ button has been pushed, you keep going and there’s no turning back until you’ve reached the bottom of the bag.  By the time you get to the end of the ginormous sack of sweet you feel like you’re going to be sick and swear that you’ll never eat another M&M ever again…

The concluding thoughts are…

If you’ve discovered that like the toy you don’t have a ‘pause’ or ‘off’ button, remember this simple mantra – tape it to the fridge, cabinets, pantry; tattoo it to your forehead; put it wherever you need it – but whatever you do – don’t forget it!  Are you ready?  This is profound stuff people…  Here it is: “If you can’t turn it off, don’t turn it on.”  Yep, I told you – GROUNDBREAKING!!!  Don’t push that button – why start what you already know will not end well?  Avoid temptation.  If the toy aisle at Target is problematic – just don’t even go there in the first place.  If there are no buttons to push, you and your fellow shoppers are ‘safe’.  The same is true with food – if the chip or bread basket is a problem don’t even let them bring it to the table.  If nuts, candy, ice cream, etc, are your gig then they probably shouldn’t be guests in your house.  No buttons – no temptation – no regrets.  An occasional indulgence is totally okay – but know your limits, and no matter what you do remember –

“If you can’t turn it off, don’t it turn on.”

More at: Pushing Your Buttons…

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