You’ve probably had your fill of tips on how to deny or ignore a craving. Keeping busy and reminding yourself of your goal doesn’t really cut it when your brain is swirling with images of chocolate and peanut butter or a large order of French fries.
Self-control might get you through a moment, but as we all know, the results may be short-lived.
The Overeating Freedom Formula approach that I teach is different. Instead of denying your cravings (or reacting to them), I believe they are worth paying attention to.
Imagine what will shift if you learn WHY your cravings are so powerful.
Think of this as the difference between being on the defense (reactive) and giving yourself the space and information to approach a craving proactively.
What does this Overeating Freedom Formula approach look like? I’m so glad you asked! There are endless ways to be curious so that you can learn about a craving, but to get started, I’ve made you a quick list. Pick one, or a few, to experiment with the next time a craving hits.
10 ways to outsmart a craving
- Listen to your body. Breathe for thirty seconds and be curious about what you feel physically. Hunger? Tension? Tune in to your emotions and your stress level. Be curious – how do you feel? Is the way your body is feeling related to your craving?
- Give yourself time to explore the hunger –what specifically are you are craving and why did the craving show up just now? Are you craving something crunchy or chewy? Does what you are craving remind you of an experience or a feeling? Are you looking for a treat?
- Slow things down. Food that is eaten in a hurry, or reactively isn’t as satisfying and a frantic pace won’t give you space for curiosity.
- If you were to spend five minutes writing about your craving and about the ways that feeding that craving would satisfy you, what would you find yourself writing about?
- What would it feel like to postpone reacting and to just allow the craving to be there for five minutes – or ten, or twenty? What could you learn if you simply allowed yourself to be curious about and to have the craving?
- If you were to satisfy this craving, what are the circumstances that would allow you to most enjoy what you are craving – and to savor every single bite of what you want to eat?
- What would it be like to allow yourself to indulge under these ideal circumstances you just imagined?
- How would you know that you have had enough? What would be your signal that your craving was satisfied?
- Could you be craving anything else in addition to food right now? Are there Hidden Hungers in play?
- Is there anything about this craving that has you feeling stuck? For instance, you might be aware that you are wanting to eat because you are sad and you aren’t sure what else to do because you aren’t in a situation where you can have a good cry.
When is the last time you let yourself simply wonder about your patterns with food – without judging them (or yourself)? There is such power in curiosity. Even if answers don’t emerge immediately, giving yourself space and asking smart questions can move you out of repetitive struggles and help point you toward what you really need to create the results you want.
Take good care,