Ask Yourself These 3 Questions To Crush Your Next Craving
When it comes to obtaining long term fitness results, consistency is key.
Small actions repeated over time lead to major changes.
The problem with this equation?
We are never really taught about the psychology of food.
Entertain me for a little bit.
You start off your day with the perfect plan. Breakfast is an optimal blend of protein and some nutrient dense vegetables. Lunch…prepared the night before and ready to go. You even packed the perfect snack to hold you over until you got home for dinner. Everything seems to be going according to plan…..until it doesn’t. Maybe a work meeting runs over, you get some terrible news about a project you’ve been working on, or a co-worker just annoys you to the point of no return. At this point, you hear a familiar knock on the door…….cravings calling. The bag of chips. The Cake. The sundae. Just one bite can change everything and make you feel better. At least that’s how you feel at that very moment. You give in, feel better temporarily and then beat yourself up for not being strong enough to stick to your plan.
Emotional eating? yeah, that’s a real thing and it has nothing to do with a lack of discipline.
We bounce from diet to diet and don’t address the root causes behind many of the cravings that derail are initial efforts for change. Physical hunger comes along gradually- you may feel your stomach growling, low energy, shakiness or even have a headache. Emotional cravings can come on suddenly, we usually crave certain things and usually are the reaction to certain cues or the need to consume food to change the way you currently feel. It’s never about the food.
We have all experienced emotional eating and have sought out comfort food to escape feelings of anxiety, stress, sadness, frustration, etc. As it turns out there are parts of the brain that are rewarded from eating high fat, high salt, and high sugar foods. The thing is the comfort is temporary. It’s usually followed by feelings of guilt and resentment. This can be a destructive cycle that prevents you from developing any real consistency.
The next time you get hit with a craving take 3 deep breaths and ask yourself these 4 questions:
Am I Actually Hungry
This may seem like a silly and obvious question, but it can really be an eye opener. instead of thinking “duhhhhhh” Soji, I want you to use the moment to perform a body scan. Check in with what is going on both physically and emotionally. Is your stomach growling? How are your energy levels? Any lightheadedness or discomfort? When is the last time you had something to eat? What’s your current mood? What were you doing right before the idea of eating popped into your head? If you perform this scan and come to the conclusion that you are hungry…..Feed Yo Self! If you aren’t hungry, move on to question number 2.
What’s Really Bothering Me?
In the words of one of my wise coaching mentors……face your stuff, don’t stuff your face!
Examining the root cause of what it is that is bothering us or throwing off our equilibrium is essential to fighting cravings. As opposed to eating to change your situation, use this moment to isolate your thought patterns and figure out what exactly it is that you are trying to escape or feel. Meet these difficult feelings or situations head on, don’t run away.
What Can I Do About It?
Being aware is half the battle. Now that you have isolated the issue (you may have to dig deep and that’s totally okay!), what are some possible solutions that don’t involve food?
Looking to experience pleasure? what are some rewards that are fun and enjoyable to you that aren’t food orientated?
Feeling stressed out? How about trying to meditate for 5 mins or calling a loved one for a calming dopamine boost. It’s really about getting creative and breaking old patterns. It may take some adjusting, but you can do it.
These 3 questions are a powerful combatant to fighting cravings. You won’t crush them over night, but developing a new process to deal with them is highly beneficial if given some time and effort.
What are some strategies you currently use to deal with cravings?
Have any specific situations or questions on the topic you could use assistance on? Feel free to comment below or reach out to me :)