How to stop cravings (spoiler alert: it’s not what you’ve been told)

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Think about the things you crave. List them in your head right now.

What have you been told in the past about how to curb cravings?

“Drink a glass of water and you’ll feel full and wont crave that thing anymore.”

“Maybe you’re hungry! Eat a meal and you won’t crave it anymore.”

“Try this 100 calorie pack version of that thing you are craving.”

How long have you been fighting cravings? How long have you been craving the same things? How often do you restrict yourself from those things?

One of my roles as a health coach is to understand people’s current relationships with food. Asking one question to a couple men in my life lead me to a wild observation.

I challenge you to do the same. Ask your boyfriend, husband, brother, or guy friend what they crave. Their response may surprise you.

I asked my brother and boyfriend this question.

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Me: What cravings do you have?

Brother: I don’t really crave anything

Me: Wait, what? You literally eat bread and butter everyday. When was the last time you went a day without butter? Isn’t that a craving for you? What about meat? Or bread?

Brother: I mean, I like those things but I wouldn’t say I crave them.

Me: But you eat them basically everyday.

Brother: Yeah because I like them.

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Me: What cravings do you have?

Boyfriend: I don’t crave anything.

Me: What? You literally have a pack of oreos in the house at all times. Anytime you are at a convenience store, you buy a slim jim. You are obsessed with chicken wings… I could go on.

Boyfriend: I just like those things and I eat them when I want to eat them.
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Wait what. You can really really like something and eat it and enjoy it and it’s not a “craving”? So you can eat ice cream and enjoy it and not need to go on a 7 day detox program only to eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s on day 8 and feel guilty about it and then repeat that cycle?

Amazing.

So why do we think we crave things? Why do we deny ourselves the things that we enjoy? We call it a craving like it’s this monster that we have to run from. Like its bad to enjoy the things we like to eat.

When you call it a craving, it becomes something outside of you. It becomes a battle of will power over the “forbidden fruit.” If you simply say what you like and what you enjoy, then you are free to enjoy those things without falling into the cycle of restricting yourself, caving to the desire, then feeling guilty or ashamed that you didn’t have the will-power to say no. If you enjoy it and recognize that you enjoy it, then after you eat it, you will feel happy because you ate something you really like.

Stop associating guilt, shame and failure with the foods you like. If you like it, enjoy it, then move on with your life and be the intelligent, fun, thoughtful boss-lady you were put on this earth to be.

Amy PotterComment