UNITED STATES—Cravings, I think we all have them, and I have been fighting extra hard lately to curb carbs. I am a bread person, now granted I tend to go for whole grains, but the notion of not having bread in a single day or in a few days is a hard pill for me to swallow. It is a battle for me, but I am working to make it happen. I love a good sandwich, one loaded with plenty of veggies and a meat and cheese with some mayonnaise. Yes, as a kid I HATED mayonnaise, now I love it.

However, I have found a way to try to curb that craving for bread, whether a sandwich, crusty bread (which I love) and pizza. Pizza is the big one, I would have pizza at least once a week, but I’m starting to realize that is not healthy. Bread breeds carbs and carbs that are not burnt turn into sugar and that sugar becomes fat stored in the body. I have to cut pizza out of my weekly routine. As much as I love it, the bread is not good for the body and even if I were to go with a cauliflower, gluten free or thin crust, it is still carbs and my body just doesn’t need it.

Is it going to be difficult to let it go? Yes, but I’ve always found that if you can go a week without an item, it makes it easier and easier to realize that item is not something you need. With that said, I’ve gone a year without any soda. I don’t miss it at all, and I don’t think I will ever consume it again. I significantly cut down on sweets, especially baked goods from my diet. I’ve always cooked at home, but I started prepared meals more often especially breakfast. I was always someone that wanted something quick and, on the go, when it came to breakfast just because of my busy schedule.

That has changed as I have forced myself to get up a bit earlier, if need be, and cook an actual breakfast that holds me over for several hours until lunch. Cooking a hearty meal is key as it prevents you from snacking throughout the day which only adds calories to the body. Being healthy is not giving up everything you love; it’s just finding alternatives to the things that you love and being mindful of moderation.

If you’re eating a pizza, try to go with fewer slices than you would normally eat by throwing in a salad as a side to the entrée to cut down on the amount of bread you might take in. The biggest thing I’ve learned about cravings is that you have to be willing to fight temptation. Don’t purchase items that you know you might be tempted to eat. Don’t bring it into the household. Out of sight out of mind, is a great way to be disciplined. With that said, don’t expect people around you to eat or share similar strategies on food as you.

I have people trying to tempt me with pop/soda all the time, and the fact that I dismiss it, they go are you sure, yes, and for others it’s hard for them to resist that temptation if it is constantly in your face. Americans just by nature are always going to want what they should not have. It is an engrained part of our psychology and that is an urge you have to fight that is not always easy to do. Why? It tends to surround you no matter where you go and as a result, you have to tell your brain you cannot or do not need it. It is not easy, but for your overall health, you have to do it, we eat way too much processed foods today versus more natural foods.

Think back to the early 1900s, you didn’t hear about all the various cancers, viruses and illnesses that we have today. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. What you eat dictates who you become and how your body reacts. Remember you are what you eat, whether you believe it or not, it is very true.