How can Bodhi and Johnny Utah help with food cravings?
What is a craving......
A food craving is an intense desire to consume a specific food; this desire is very different from normal huger.
Cravings can often be a person’s downfall in their goal of losing weight.
Read on to learn about controlling cravings
Craving or hunger
When you are hungry then any food will do, however when you have a craving, the chosen food is usually high in fat or has a high sugar content. It is very rare for anyone to have a craving for broccoli or tomato juice (unless they are pregnant). The number 1 craved food by people in the UK is chocolate.
Cravings are set off by triggers which are divided into two groups
External and Internal
Adverts e.g. television, social media, magazines.
The smell of food
Watching others eat and saboteurs (see below).
Internal are .....
Emotions e.g. boredom, sadness, anxiety, upset
Our eating behaviors learned from childhood i.e. you were given a chocolate bar to comfort you when you were upset.
The external triggers can be avoided or you can reduce contact with them i.e. avoid walking pass a bakery or the chip shop etc. The internal triggers are harder to understand as we are all uniquely different.
Here are some tips to help overcome cravings.
1. Ask yourself “Am I really hungry?” “Do I need to eat now?” “Why would I eat if I am not hungry?”
2. Writing a food and feelings diary can often pinpoint the reasons why you are craving foods. I.e. I ate a large bar of chocolate watching telly, I had it because it had been a bad day at work. Recognising our triggers is the first step to controlling them.
3. Try not to keep the craving foods in the house.
4. Get support from family and friends let them know how best they can help you.
5. Plan responses to saboteurs- These are well meaning people who try to persuade you to eat when you had not intended to, we can all recognise at least one saboteur in our lives. “Go on have a bit more!”
6. Resistance training- Most cravings are urges that have been learned over time, e.g. as a child if you always had sweets in the car for a journey this behaviour has followed you into your adulthood. These can be unlearned as in this case, how are the sweets fulfilling you? Why do you need them?
7. Distinguish cravings from hunger, cravings are psychological or hormonal responses and for a specific food. If you are hungry any food will do a craving is very specific.
8. Are you obtaining adequate vitamins and minerals in your current diet? Is your body craving something it wants rather then something it needs?
9. Surfing the urge- one way of dealing with cravings is to surf them. Think of “Point break” and imagine you are surfing on a wave; this wave builds up then crashes and recedes away. Cravings are exactly like that and the longer you delay feeding the craving the weaker the urge will become. The craving rarely lasts for more than 15-20 mins. Distract yourself with something else whilst surfing the urge.
10. Substitute – learn new responses to situations or feelings that provoke giving into the cravings. What else do you find comforting? What other things can you treat yourself to, besides food? Make up some sugar free jelly in the fridge and snack on this, or low fat yogurts, this will not fulfill the cravings however this is a step closer to understanding your internal triggers.
11. Get plenty of sleep as studies have found that the less sleep we have the more we crave high sugar foods and high fat foods.
Any other advice wanted regarding cravings please contact me Claire