This week I led a training call on how to cure cravings, emotional eating and over-eating because — the holidays are here! You might have the best of intentions to be really good and healthy this holiday, but I know this time of year it’s easy to go overboard and then dislike your body and beat yourself up about losing “control”. Please don’t 🙂
Whatever you do . . . DON’T settle for having cravings, or feeling out of control and don’t wait for New Year’s to make a change. There’s another option!
YOU are the leader of your brain and your mind and I’m about to share some key information I covered in this training that will help you have a HEALTHY INDIFFERENCE toward holiday NOT SO SWEET TREATS and even toward behaviors and habits you might be using to comfort, reward and calm yourself during these busy, stressful times.
First – let’s define what a craving really is.
All cravings are neutral. Cravings are simply the body’s language – critical pieces of information that tell you what your body needs. Your body is a reliable, amazing bio-computer that never makes mistakes, however, you can eat your way and stress your way “out of balance” (physically, emotionally and spiritually) when you misinterpret what your body is saying. Cravings (just like thoughts) should not be resisted, but rather explored with curiosity.
Best questions to ask yourself . . .
In what way will this food, drink or substance make me feel better?
How do I feel after I eat or drink this?
Allow your body to answer (not your mind) and you’ll find you are using this food or drink as a “substitute” for something you want to feel.
Feeling Good About Myself
Sometimes food seems like the easiest way to get what you want. When the rest of life feels out of control or not fun enough or like you have no choice, it can drive you to express yourself through food. Food can be the area where you allow yourself to be defiant, run amuck, prove a point and be BAD!! Releasing this type of energy can distract you and protect you from having to address the energy in other ways of your life.
Ex: Your life has so many rules and regulations that you feel overscheduled and out of control. You defiantly take back control by eating what you want and no one can tell you otherwise. (Stick out tongue for effect.)
Solution: Create a NON-FOOD menu for things you can do to feel empowered in your life.
List 10-20 ideas for exercising your power of choice in areas you’ve allowed life to become rigid. Go way out of the box! Try the same exercise in regards to fun, joy, adventure, entertainment and love. Then eat up from your list! You’ll forget all about food!
Second – what is Emotional Eating?
It’s not all that different from a craving. Emotional Eating is eating to evoke an emotion that a brain chemical should help us experience naturally from the simple pleasures in life. You might find you are reaching for a sweet treat that you crave but you also could be reaching for ANY food – not out of actual hunger but out of desire to numb a feeling or feel a feeling. For example – you could be eating out of boredom and to feel excited even when you aren’t hungry.
Emotional “Eating” applies to addictive substances and compulsive behaviors too.
Go back to the questions . . .
In what way will this food, drink, substance or behavior make me feel better?
How to I feel after I eat, drink or do this?
Lastly, let’s talk about Over-Eating. There’s two main reasons we eat too much.
- The body is starved for nutrients. This happens with calorie restriction AND with eating non-foods that have little to no nutrient value (sugar, white flour, caffeine, processed foods.) This is why Obesity & Starvation can be the same Either way, the body is not receiving the nutrients it needs.
- Sometimes we over-eat to soothe the very same emotional hunger that causes our cravings and emotional eating. In the case of OVER-eating it’s less about a specific food and more about over indulging to feel . . . you guessed it . . . in control, calm, loved, entertained, etc.
I hope this sheds new light on why you eat the things you eat even when you swear you’re not going to. Once you become aware that your urge to eat might not be based on HUNGER, you can use the question to figure out what you REALLY are hungry for and fill yourself up.
Wishing you a BUFFET of peace, love, calm, fun, joy, connection from the incredible pleasure of this life that have nothing to do with food!