Change Your Relationship with Food: Deconstruct Cravings
Cravings are inevitable and everyone has them. Luckily, you can learn how to stop your cravings, or at least manage them in a healthy way, once you start to listen to your body. Pretty soon, you won’t be indulging every chocolate craving. You’ll gain a better understanding of what your cravings mean.
Step 1: Change Your Mind about Cravings
Don’t curse your cravings. Recognize them as an important piece of information, your body’s way of sending you a signal. Approaching the situation more gently will set you up to understand the craving rather than feeling like you’re battling an evil demon.
Step 2: Tune In
Now that you know a craving is your body’s way of sending you a message, you can start to tune into what that message means. Some common reasons cravings come up: emotional response, a nutrient deficiency or the body looking to establish more balance. When you feel a craving come on, think about how you’re feeling physically, mentally and emotionally. Take note of what you’re craving and why you may be craving it. Some people choose to keep a journal to keep track. Over time, you may see a pattern.
Step 3: Get Your Drink On
Dehydration and thirst is often disguised as cravings and hunger. Before you do anything, drink an 8-ounce glass of water and wait 10 minutes. The craving will often disappear.
Step 4: Go Deeper
Sometimes cravings aren’t about food at all. If water isn’t doing the trick, try to determine where in your life you feel unbalanced. Do you have fulfilling relationships? A job that you love? A nourishing spiritual practice? Do you move your body daily in ways that feel good to you? If any one of these areas feel out of balance in your life, you may experience more intense cravings. If you have hobbies or activities that feel particularly nourishing to you, you may want to do more of them to keep yourself busy and your life sweeter.
Step 5: Have a Backup Plan
Inevitably, you’ll experience cravings and that’s ok. Plan ahead for them and you’ll meet them with ease and grace. Carry healthy snacks in your handbag or keep a stash in the drawer of your desk so the office doughnuts or the smell of fast food French fries won’t tempt you.