Mindfulness and Your Biggest Food Cravings

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Let’s talk about one of my former weaknesses from before my Health Coaching days - brownies. I have always had a bit of a sweet tooth, and loved to bake. After a long day, I would find solace in whipping up a batch of warm, flavorful brownies. There was something about the process that gave me peace, but ultimately the timer would go off and I would be overwhelmed with the desire to have a taste. And then another taste. And another. You get the idea. Once I got started, it was hard to stop. Sometimes I would go to bed with a stomach ache because I overdid it so much. After awhile, I knew I needed to do something different.

It’s easy to overdo it when we are faced with our favorite foods. They bring us happy memories from our childhood when we would stir together a batch of cookie dough with our family. Or remind us of celebrations. Many times it has very little to do with the food itself! For me, the warm and chewy brownie was the ultimate treat. The smell, taste, and texture gave me all kinds of good feelings.

So, what did I do? I started eating more mindfully. If I asked myself why I was craving that brownie, I would struggle to come up with a reason that had anything to do with the brownie. A lot of times, I was stressed out. Or tired. Or just looking for an outlet. Also, I realized that if the brownies were in the house, I would eat them regardless of whether I was hungry. So I stopped having the ingredients on hand and instead, took a walk. Or made a cup of tea with a drizzle of honey to satisfy my craving for sweets. 

If I was really wanting a brownie, I took on a new approach. I made a new personal rule that I could only eat brownies from a bakery. I’m talking super delicious, super decadent brownies that cost way too much to justify on a regular basis! As a health coach, I’m all about sustainable change. If you tell yourself you can never have a brownie - or whatever your weakness is - ever again. You will certainly fail at some point. If you give yourself permission to indulge once in awhile and have some parameters around it, you may find you don’t even want it.

What’s your biggest food craving? Next time you are craving it, consider asking yourself the following question: "why do I really want _____?” Consider that answer, and dig deeper. Ask yourself again, “why?” Think about what might be a good alternative. If you are craving something for an emotional reason, you will never fulfill that need with that food. You need to address what’s underneath the surface. Staying mindful of your food choices can be a good start and help you stay on track with your health goals as well!

Need help with your cravings? Set up a free one-on-one phone session with me and let’s talk about it!