Tame your food cravings like an Olympic athlete.

08/08/2016 03:33 pm ET

Can you imagine setting a good example every single day of your life? Sounds boring? Too stressful? What if I told you: You are already doing it. Every day; every decision you make can affect so many people around with consequences that are sometimes impossible to predict. You are surrounded by your family, coworkers, neighbors, and or just random strangers all the time. Which means that just when you think nobody is watching you overindulging on the box of doughnuts or daily triple Frappuccino, you may be in for a surprise.

With The Summer Olympics in Rio going on, all eyes are on the athletes. They have nutritionists, trainers, and support teams helping them achieve their goals as each of them strives toward bring home the gold. They spend hours every day diligently practicing and doing whatever it takes to optimize their individual performance, including getting in their healthy calories in to optimize their performance, they stretch, they run, swim, exercise, and do it all over again.

What motivates each of them is hard to say exactly. Olympic level competition is a highly individual pursuit. What they do share is desire and consistency. Desire to be their best. Consistency of routine and practice to perfect their craft. Is it ultimately a desire to win? Sure! To make their families proud? Absolutely!

Day in and day out they practice and perfect their craft, like master chefs in the kitchen perfecting their recipes or artists carefully creating their masterpiece, stroke by stroke.

Consistency, they very thing that helps them succeed, is what many of us are lacking. Setting your own health goal, your own GOLD to strive for, would makes a big positive difference in making how you make daily choices. If your GOLD is having more time with family and friends and less doctor bills then set those goals and build your “training schedule” to achieve them. Having more energy to wake up and inspire other people, accomplish more; make the world a better place for future generations.

 

So maybe when you do sit down to watch the world’s best athletes compete, consider what they did to get there and in that moment, be mindful of what you put into your mouth. Engage your imagination and visualize yourself as an athlete, ready to take on the world. Next, ask yourself, what would they do? Would they be indulging by pizza, nachos, wings and cupcakes? Would they allow themselves to drink anything that would cloud their judgment? Imagination is a very powerful tool in dealing with cravings.

 

Here are some suggestions for healthy food swaps:

 

Trade deep fried chicken wings for baked; corn chips for veggie chips, pizza for flatbread with loads of vegetables, trade the burger buns for lettuce or Portobello mushrooms, ice-cream for frozen fresh fruit pops.

 

For the next 2 weeks while you are watching the games, focus on providing your body with the best energy sources: from plants, protein and healthy fats, not junk food that would only lead to further poor choices and create explosive cravings.

But don’t let the temptations to get the better of you at other times of the day, too. Make a commitment to nourishing your body and mind, be aware of your cravings: “what are they,” “what triggers them,” and consistently choose healthy food.

Be the person who sets a good example to the rest of the world, and you will keep your health – your GOLD.

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
CONVERSATIONS