The struggle is real...
The body is amazing. It is always there for you by pumping blood, fighting illness, and digesting whatever food you put in it. So, how come this reliable and intelligent bio-computer making a mistake by craving ice cream, hamburgers, or chocolate cake? Why do we have cravings, and is it our own fault caused by our own lack of will-power and discipline? I’d like to suggest that cravings are NOT a problem. They are critical pieces of information that allow your body to tell you what you need.
The important thing is to actually understand why you crave what you crave. Perhaps your diet is too restrictive or lacking essential nutrients. Perhaps you are living a lifestyle that is too boring or stressful. Your body tries to correct the imbalance by sending you a message: a craving. A craving for something sweet could mean you need more protein, more exercise, more water, or even more love in your life. The key to stopping the craving is to understand and deliver what your body really needs.
No book or theory can tell you what to eat. Only awareness of your body and its needs can tell you. Of all the relationships in our lives, the one with our body is the most essential. It takes communication, love, and time to cultivate a relationship with your body. As you learn to decipher and respond to your body’s cravings, you will create a deep and lasting level of health and balance. When you feel cravings coming on, be real with yourself about whether it’s the food or something else that you really want or need. Try to consider how the food craving can suggest the need for something else, and think of how you can satisfy that, and learn new ways to nourish yourself without food.
The next time you have a craving, treat it as a loving message from your body instead of a weakness. Try these tips to respond to your body:
• Have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes, most times the craving will pass.
• Eat a healthier wholefood version of what you crave. For example, if you crave crunchy, try a handful of nuts, homemade baked sweet potato fries, or plain popcorn.
• Check in with yourself before you eat and ask if you are actually hungry, or feeding an emotion. Notice if you are eating out of real hunger or if you’re just filling a void. It can be quite difficult to train yourself to eat for nourishment only, but it can be done with practice!
• Take a closer look …. What is out of balance in your life? Is there something you need to express, or is something being repressed? What happened in your life just before you had this craving? Are you eating out of habit?
• When you eat the food you are craving, enjoy it, taste it, savor it; notice its effects. Then you will become more aware and free to decide if you really want it next time.
When you understand the connections between what you eat, why you eat, and how you feel, you will be more in control and be able to make better choices. We don’t need to feel guilty about food. We just need to understand our cravings better so we can figure out what we really need, and do our best to make choices that support our healthy lifestyle goals.
Do you struggle with nagging cravings that sabotage your efforts to eat healthy? Let me show you how to get rid of them for good! Download my free guide, 10 top foods to quit sugar and get rid of your sugar cravings for good!