Updated: Jan 12, 2020
What about cravings?
WHAT DO I DO ABOUT CRAVINGS?!!?
Everyone and their mother has experienced the relentless tug of a craving. Seductive and annoying… most people set out to reduce cravings, avoid cravings, or feel totally helpless in the face of them.
But why? What if pushing our cravings away, calling them cruel, and trying to run from them at all costs is actually not the answer.
Believe it or not, there's another way to be in relationship with the obsessive thoughts and compulsive pull towards certain foods.
Brace yourself for this one.
✨You befriend them✨
Befriending your cravings looks like knowing:
Them backwards and forwards.
Their personalities, their desires, their fears.
The time of the day/month/year that they are most active.
What makes them get really loud.
You must understand the where, why, who, what, and when of your cravings before you can effectively and consciously choose to act on them, ignore them, or accept them.
Nothing can be worked with effectively if we don't see it clearly.
Awareness precedes change.
This can look a number of ways. But the easiest way to get to know something, your cravings, is by approaching them with curiosity rather than judgment.
Start by first noticing the qualities of your craving.
Pay attention to any sensations in your body that accompany your urge or desire for a specific food.
Pay attention to any thoughts that accompany the craving (over time you may start to notice a pattern).
Pay attention to any emotions that accompany the craving.
By getting curious about your cravings, you're beginning a relationship with them.
Rather than banning them - calling them evil and wishing away their existence - you're welcoming them, getting to know them, and saying "I want to learn more about you, why you're here, and what you might be communicating to me."
Your cravings aren't random. They're there for a reason.
Biological cravings could be the result of hormones, genetics, or medication.
Emotional cravings could surface in times of stress, boredom, or in response to a memory.
Environmental cravings could be triggered by certain situations like parties or in combination with alcohol or substance use.
Understanding your cravings is critical to know how to work with them.
I can't give you a cookie-cutter recipe for how to handle your cravings. Because you're unique and your body's needs are unique.
Often times cravings have root in a real need and it's important that we find out what that need is.
Whether or not it's best to act on your craving varies situation to situation. Therefore it's very important to not lump all cravings into the same category.
Your body will crave foods and nutrients that it needs more of. If you're low B12, you may crave meat. If your immune system needs extra support, you may crave citrus and Vitamin C.
At different stages of your menstrual cycle, you might crave certain foods.
If your cravings are rooted in an emotional need, you may notice you crave certain foods when seeking comfort or pleasure.
The more familiar and friendly you get with your cravings, the more clarity you will have around whether to act on them or not.
The next time you notice a craving for a certain food, follow these steps:
Pay attention to the quality of the craving.
Decide what needs this craving would be fulfilling.
Decide whether you want to act on this craving.
If you don't want to act on this craving, begin to "surf your urge." Watch your urge and desire for this food come and go like a wave in the ocean. Watch as the urge and craving for the food peaks and then watch how it subsides once you let your thoughts pass.
Repeat these steps as many times as you need to throughout the day.
When you feel a strong desire or urge to eat certain foods, there's a reason.
Cravings aren't bad or wrong. You're not broken. You're human. And your body is constantly sending you messages. Take the time to listen. Take the time to explore. Take the time to get curious.
Looking for some extra support around this? Book a free discovery call with me today and walk away with concrete, tangible next steps to take on your journey to food freedom!