These 3-Steps On How To Stop Cravings For Food are my favorite tips for cravings: Fortunately there are some things we can do to help reduce and manage our food cravings.
Cravings can be/if not the biggest issue to people who want to lose weight. The cravings are pretty much always for fatty, processed and unhealthy foods, which are high in calories and can be easily over-eaten, which reduces the chance of losing weight successfully.
There are so many ways of getting triggered and get a craving. Tempting foods are on display, wherever you look. The moment you walk outside, there is the market, there is the ice-cream van, there is the smell, there are the people walking around munching on Snickers bars…I mean it’s not difficult at all to get triggered and get a craving.
I mean even if you don’t get triggered, the old habits and the food you used to consume on a daily basis before you decided to lose weight, will trigger you and make you crave foods you used to eat regularly.
Anyway, I won’t be going into much detail now, I will just present to you the best tips I have come across for stopping/reducing cravings of foods.
1. Try not to keep trigger foods in your house, or in your sight!
I cannot stress the importance of managing your food environment. Lack of exposure reduces cravings significantly. Cravings come mainly through exposure to said product. If you see or smell a donut, it makes you want to eat it. If you don’t, you probably won’t crave it as often or if you do and you can’t have it, they will likely subside.
Try to keep these foods out of the house. If not, just reduce your exposure to them. Put them at the back of cupboards. Hide them behind ‘better’ foods. Hide them away in the garage or pantry. Try not to buy multipacks and buy enough for one or two occasions a week.
Stop walking past the bakery that you can’t help but go in every time. Stop watching commercials that always make you order something. The less often you see them, the less often you have to ask yourself if you want them, the less often you’re likely to say yes.
2. Cravings can tend to be from how food makes you feel rather than the food itself
Maybe it relieves stress or gives you a boost of energy, or it comforts you when you’re sad. This is a Learned habit that people develop over time. They get stressed, the cookies make them feel better, so they learn the habit of reaching for cookies when they get stressed. You can just as easily replace ‘reaching for the cookies’ with ‘going for a walk’. Or any other stress-relieving activity that isn’t food-related.
It’s rewiring your brain. The less often you reach for the cookies in response to stress the more you weaken that connection. The more often you go for a walk in response to stress the more you strengthen that connection. Find a different way to address these needs other than food. Choose something that moves you towards your goals rather than away from. It takes time and practice. Simple but not easy.
3. Practice ‘urge surfing’
Cravings do go away on their own given time!! I repeat. They DO go away on their own. Think of them like ocean waves that arrive, crest and subside. They are small when they start, will grow in size and then they will break up and dissipate. This does take practice!!!
One great tip I came across was to keep a journal of your cravings. When you get one notice how long they last for, how intense they are on a scale of 1-10, what the trigger was, and observe that they do eventually subside. Then next time you have this information to help you get over as you know how long it will last and that it will eventually pass etc.
For example: ‘I know this will be a 9/10, it will stay for around an hour, and then it will pass’. Something like that. Become curious about your cravings rather than just hoping that they will pass. This gives you mastery over them. When you get a craving to try not to act on it straight away. Use the 3 P’s (Pause, Process, Proceed ). Stop and pause, try and understand why you’re getting this craving rather than acting on it without thinking. Then use the journal method above to document this and plan how to control and reduce it.
Then next time you’ll have a better understanding of why you have the craving and what you can do about it to make it easier not to give it to it.
The bottom line:
Basically – you should be the master of your own MIND! You should control this, you are the person behind the trigger, you are the person responsible for the cravings, you are the boss! Just say NO, learn to say NO, and you won’t have to answer this question no more.
I hope you liked my 3-Steps On How To Stop Cravings For Food, and hopefully you will find these steps useful and help you in the longterm.
Do feel free to browse on my weight-loss section on my blog, that you may find helpful as well!