Cravings in the form of food are common to all people and are a difficult thing to control. Cravings can be both physiological and emotional and it is those emotional cravings that wreak havoc on our diets, making us more inclined to give into the cravings as we feel less confident, depressed and anxious. It is a vicious cycle, and after every cycle of wanting, getting, and loss, there is emptiness, disappointment, a sense of betrayal. And that makes one all the more desperate for relief. This relief, in the context of food, is a simple feeling of calm that one can attain from consuming high levels of fat or carbohydrates which release serotonin and makes us feel better. Once this feeling of calm is gone, as the serotonin dissipates and the feeling of guilt sets in, then the cravings begin again as a quick fix is needed.
Here are some tips to get over cravings (or at least help cope with them)
The first thing you need to do is determine what type of craver you are!
Are you someone that has a strong craving for a piece of chocolate and once you have had that piece you feel satisfied. Or are you the person that cannot control your cravings and you need to eat a whole bar of chocolate.
If you are the former, eat the chocolate, as one piece is totally reasonable and if you don’t deny yourself what you want then you won’t binge later! If you are the latter, then you will either need to learn to control your cravings by only having a small amount of a food type available to you or simply deny yourself completely. (iI I were to use my method as an example I can easily eat one piece of chocolate but when it comes to chips I avoid them completely because if I have one then I eat more. I haven’t eaten them for years and now I NEVER crave them)
The ultimate goal behind eating junk food is that feeling of calm, slight elation which ultimately means it’s a comfort food. What must be learnt and incorporated is that comfort food comes in many different (and healthy forms). If you are like many people, when you think of carbing up for a race or have a craving you think of pizza, pasta and chips. What about brown rice and lentils or a big bowl of broccoli with garlic and chilli or vegetable soup with crackers and parmesan. It is easy to dismiss the healthy options thinking that they won’t taste as delicious but if you are creative and have a good teacher you can easily satisfy your cravings with a healthier option!
If you feel that this is something you would like to discuss in more depth and work on more profoundly, come to Tuscan Fitness and partake in our “Group Cravings Workshop”