Craving Busters

If you’re like me, I often want to eat when I am tired, sad, stressed or bored. True hunger kind of grows on you. It creeps up and makes us a bit hollow feeling or empty. When we let hunger grow it can turn from just a quiet signal to a full-blown H-Anger attack. Hunger can be strong, then quieter. It feels kind of like waves on an ocean.

BUT cravings on the other hand come on strong. Cravings don’t want to be ignored and will take over our thoughts and actions. Cravings must be what it feels like if your body was taken over by an alien. It’s not pretty people.

This helpful chart came from our ProCoach program.

Craving Busters

Here are some tips to help you deal with cravings:

  • Understand that cravings are normal. They come and go.
  • If the craving is minor, ignore it.
  • If the craving is moderate, distract yourself. This is more intentional than ignoring.
  • If the craving is overwhelming, have a small portion of what you’re craving in a safe environment, such as a restaurant where you can only get one portion of the food (instead of the whole thing). Eat it slowly. Stay aware of all the signals your body is giving.
  • Keep a “craving diary”. Write down what you’re craving and when. Also write down what you’re thinking and feeling at that time. Over time, look for patterns. Once you know the pattern, you can disrupt it.
  • For women keep track of your menstrual cycle on a calendar. Remind yourself daily to be on a 'Craving Alert' especially before your cycle begins.
  • Substitute something that gives you the same feeling. For instance, munch on raw veggies when you’re craving crunchiness. Take a hot bath when you’re craving warmth and comfort. Go for a brisk walk when you’re craving distraction. Pop a sugarless mint in your mouth, nibble celery, or drink water when you just want something to do with your mouth.
  • When you have a craving, ask yourself:
    What do I expect this food to do for me? How will it change my feelings?
    What am I telling myself about this craving?
    What else is going on for me right now?

Hunger or craving? Allow yourself time to figure out which one you are feeling. This “pause” is one way to stop weight gain from feeling like its spiraling out of control. A short break to check yourself can give you back the control you’re looking for.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

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