What is a Craving?
According to Merriam-Webster it is an intense, urgent, or abnormal desire or longing.
Synonyms: appetite, desire, drive, hunger, itch, lust, passion, thirst, urge, and yearning to name a few.
Here is my take on cravings.
A craving is a feeling.
Feelings come from our thoughts…sentences in our head.
We create our own cravings by our thinking.
Why do we crave certain foods and not others?
Have you ever craved a baby carrot?
How about a strong urge or yearning for a baked chicken breast?
No? Who does that??
Chips and Sala? Clearly.
Beer? Hello…I live in Wisconsin!
We create our own cravings.
You are in the habit of thinking about foods that create cravings.
And, if you are anything like me, you are in the habit of answering that craving.
I mean, I must be craving it for a reason. My body must “need” it.
Just because we have a thought does not mean that is true and that we must act on it.
Isn’t it strange that we don’t crave beer or wine first thing in the morning? Come 17:00 a glass of wine seems like a great idea.
Or think about that thing that many people crave and you don’t….like cigarettes.
Why do you think that is?
What if I gave you a pack for free?
Why? Really think about why you don’t crave cigarettes.
The answer is it starts with a thought…..
I hate cigarettes. I can’t stand smoke. Smoking is bad for you. Smoking is gross.
We don’t create cravings because of those thoughts…and because of that we don’t smoke.
Now think about chocolate.
I love chocolate. It tastes so good. It is my favorite. No really, I love it. I need a little chocolate every day. I could not live with out chocolate. Just a little taste is all I need.
These are some possible thoughts that may create cravings.
If this is how you think about chocolate, it is no wonder you crave it and eat it.
Ok, this is all good information to know…but what are we supposed to do when we have them?
You have three options really. Answer it. Resist it. Allow it.
If we answer the craving we are eat the food.
We can resist it by using willpower.
Or, we can allow it. Allowing means we sit there with the craving. We feel it in our body. We recognize the thoughts we are thinking about it and we just sit with that discomfort of the craving and don’t eat that thing we are craving.
This is one of the big reasons why weight loss is hard.
We have never been taught this.
It is really uncomfortable to allow the feelings of cravings, desire, urges, longing, lust, hunger, or passion.
We have a history of answering most of our cravings. This is likely what got us overweight.
I certainly didn’t gain nearly 100# in my 20+ years as a paramedic because I craved baby carrots and chicken breasts.
It was because I answered almost all of my cravings.
It is hard to not answer cravings. My brain offers up many justifications to just eat it.
Now, I just allow the discomfort, and It feels really good (later) when I don’t eat the food.
I tell myself the truth.
If I say YES to that craving, I am saying NO to my goal weight.
I have to give up instant gratification for long term satisfaction.
If this seems like something you need help with, I would love to talk with you.
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