Cravings are your friends, my friends…if you treat them right 😉 And we want to honor and respect our friends, not kick them around. 🙂
Have you ever said the following? “Man, I wish I could eat better, but I just crave (insert decadent, crunchy, sugary, salty “forbidden” food here) all the time!” Then you self-ridicule when you “cave” to those cravings and give up all hope that you’ll ever be a “good eater?”
Well, stop it! 🙂
Many people view cravings as a weakness when the reality is that they are important messengers. Like most things I talk about, even cravings are simply a matter of perspective. They’re not actually a problem because they are your body’s way of cluing you into something it needs. It’s communication 101!
For example, when your body craves sugar, it may be an indication of dehydration, or a need for more relaxation or even love and affection. Also, your body crying out for sugar is often purely a call for more energy. Salty cravings may reveal a need for more minerals or nutrient-dense foods. Cravings for bitter foods typically indicate a need for better digestion. Want something crunchy? Maybe you’re not chewing the food you eat enough. Want alcohol to ease some of your aches and pains? Perhaps you truly just need a little more movement throughout your day. It’s up to you to tap into your innate wisdom and figure this out. Don’t override the bio-messages your body is sending you; decipher them and apply what you hear with wisdom and care.
Step 1: Deconstruct, demystify, and reveal the true nature of your craving. Do you really want a huge bowl of icecream, or are you really craving a huge hug? Are you over-eating because you’re that hungry, or because you are bored or feel like you have to finish what you cooked?
Step 2: Your body comes into balance as you listen to what your cravings are telling you and respond accordingly. When the sweet-tooth next strikes, try drinking a big glass of water, waiting 10 minutes, and/or going for a short walk, then seeing if you still want that sweet thang. If you do, eat or dink it and fully enjoy it; if you don’t, maybe you just needed to put a little pep in your step.
Step 3: Cravings (as we think of them) begin to fade. You can increasingly respond appropriately to your cravings as they arise and make small adjustments as you go which result in big changes and sustainable healthy habits in the long run.
Aaaaaand you guessed it! I’m going to draw a parallel between food and other areas of life. Desires come from unmet needs, right? And it feels good to get your needs met. So use these desires as allies in health and happiness versus seeing desire (aka: “cravings’) as the enemy. The problem we run into, though, is that we often substitute our true desires with something else that isn’t really what we want or isn’t really good for us…that could range from anything from staying in a career we don’t really enjoy or using sugar as a proxy for love.
My challenge to you is to figure this out in a way that is sincere (what the “S” in SEMPER stands for) for you, and share what you’ve learned with me and the Semper Sarah tribe. I love your personal emails. Sharing in the comments section is extra great, though, because we often see our lives in others’ and therefore can contribute to greater learning in a group environment. So, get yo’ share on below! 🙂