I feel like food cravings are quite a popular topic among the health and fitness world.
And the similar messages that are seen across social media are these:
-Drink water when hungry.
-Eat more protein.
-Distract yourself during the craving.
-Get rid of all junk food from your house.
-Go for a walk.
-Eat something healthy.
-Don’t grocery shop when hungry.
And to be honest, I used to believe these as well.
I believed that cravings were only ‘food’ related and my body was just lying about what it really wanted. And heaven forbid I actually eat what I was craving.
Because it often seemed like the foods I was craving were everything that was ‘bad’ or ‘unhealthy.’ And if I were to give into my cravings and eat those foods, I would get fat, I would be unhealthy, and I would end up feeling extreme guilt afterwards.
But here’s the thing, you will absolutely crave foods you won’t let yourself eat.
Why? Because your body isn’t meant to be perfect and isn’t meant to only eat certain foods.
If you restrict certain foods, like carbs (because that seems to be the enemy nowadays), you will crave carbohydrates. Your body is sending you an SOS signal because it ‘needs’ something that it’s not getting.
But cravings also have a lot to do with emotions, lack of sleep, stress, relationships, friendships, career…
Not everything is always about the food. But pinning certain foods as the ‘bad guy’ sells. Also, it’s a quicker fix to remove foods from your life instead of doing some emotional work instead.
You can find supplements after supplements that are supposed to stop sugar cravings.
You can find lists upon lists of certain foods to eat that curb cravings (which are never the foods craved).
You can get hypnotized so you no longer crave certain foods.
But what if you just ate the foods you crave?
Is that such a bad thing? Will you become such a deplorable fat person if you actually ate the brownie you were craving? Or the sandwich you craved instead of the salad? Or the takeout pizza instead of the homemade cauliflower crust pizza?
And yes, I said deplorable fat person, because that thought often is at the forefront of our mind when certain foods are wanted.
As a side note: Would you really tell a 10 year old you, “Stop eating that fatty! You’re going to look disgusting if you keep eating that.” No, you wouldn’t! Because you would come across like a total ass. So why do you think it’s okay to tell yourself that now? Just food for thought...
Pizza, cookies, chips, candy, pasta, bread, etc… don’t have this magical control over you.
The value and the relationship YOU have with those foods as well as making sure YOUR emotional and mental wellness is taken care of, are where the real issues lie.
That concept is a hard one for many to grasp, especially my clients. Everyone wants instant results and instant gratification. But if you truly want a long life filled with joy, excitement, food freedom, and adventure, it’s going to take time.
So here’s 10 ways to actually curb cravings:
-Eat the foods you crave.
-Get actual sleep.
-Have a system in place to handle stress.
-Enjoy your career.
-Have meaningful relationships and friendships.
-Get to know your intuitive eater.
-Trust your body.
-Ditch the diet mentality.
-Incorporate movement you actually enjoy doing.
-Don’t let yourself get to the extreme ‘hangry’ phase.
Start to incorporate those 10 ways into your life, and you will start to see a change.
And you can see, that a good portion of those ways are not specifically food related.
Food is going to be secondary, so to actually see positive AND lifelong change, you must dig a little deeper.
So the next time you are craving a cookie, and you tell yourself that a piece of fruit or a ‘healthy’ snack will suffice, eat the cookie and carry on with your day.
Because you have so much more meaningful things to do with your life than to constantly worry about food.
Certified Holistic Health Coach
Eating Disorder Recovery Coach