Tired of having aggravating cravings for processed, sugary, salty, fatty sort-of foods or processed carbs? To get to the other side of your huge cravings, the first thing you need to do is listen to them, because your cravings can be your teachers.
You may be thinking, “Huh? Why would I want to listen to my cravings? They’ve only taken me down a dark path to bingeing desserts and processed carbs.”
But here’s the thing: To get to the other side of your cravings, you need to give them both the respect and attention that they deserve.
Here’s what’s interesting about cravings. They’re often smart—that is, if they’re not activated by environmental cues such as a brightly lit, enticing fast food restaurant, donut shop or fresh popcorn at the movie theater.
These days, I’ve come to respect my cravings now that my unhealthy cravings for processed carbs have vanished. (My sugar cravings have been long gone.)
Nowadays, the cravings I get are healthy so I listen to them. And that’s what I want for you, too. For instance:
- Sometimes I eat at strange times. For instance, today, I craved a lunch-like snack at 10 am. (My body evidently needed lunch early.)
- Then, from time to time, when I’m at Whole Foods, I crave Mom’s Chicken Soup—that’s actually the name—but I want no other foods. No salads. No vegetables. All I want is the soup. (I’ve come to respect this craving which I’ve gotten a lot since losing my mother. Clearly, this is a huge emotional craving, which strike around various holidays or birthdays.)
- In addition, sometimes I really crave free-range, organic meats. Or I may crave the reverse—I want is a nutritious vegetarian shake with half an avocado, protein powder, chia seeds, carob powder, cinnamon and no fruits. (That was my strange dinner tonight. Well, that and a sugar-free turkey stick.)
So here are 3 Easy Ways to Listen to Your Cravings and to determine if they’re unhealthy or healthy.
- First, when you get a craving, ask yourself: “Is this a real bodily craving or an unhealthy, environmentally activated craving?” If it’s the former, then you can act on it. But often, especially if you’re out and about in our junk-food jungle, you’re just being triggered by seeing candies, cookies or chips, then you’re having an unhealthy craving.
- Next, consider the consequences of acting on your cravings. Ask yourself, “Will eating this [fill in the name of the food] nourish and energize me or diminish and deplete me?” Then go a little further. Ask your inner guide, “Will eating those chips, crackers or candies make me angry or upset with myself?” You’re smart. You know exactly what will happen if you let your dangerous cravings rule you.
- Now’s the time to act on your craving, but in a good way. Ask yourself, “What do I really crave?” Your inner guide is smart. It knows. So ask yourself, “Do I crave a walk outside near nature? Do I crave a conversation with a good friend? Do I crave sleep because I’m tired?”
See how your cravings can be your teachers?
Share your thoughts. Let me know how this worked for you.