There are two secret psychological forces at play that you must understand if you’d like to learn how to get rid of cravings.
- The first force is Emotional Deprivation. This occurs when your emotional experience with a food is not good. You may be eating chocolate, but if you are judging yourself and disconnected from your body, this is not a good eating experience. The brain will still think you are in deprivation.
When you are in deprivation, foods become more valuable. Especially the foods that you are disconnecting from when you eat them. Like when you binge, you might oftentimes do so automatically.
Strangely enough, this phenomena tricks the brain into thinking this food which you are binge eating on is rare, and therefore more valuable.
This leads to …
- The second force is called “What-the-hell Effect”
The what-the-hell effect occurs when you break a food rule and say what-the-hell, why not? Since I was already bad today, since I already failed my rules, I mine as well be bad and eat to my hearts content.
You must understand how these two psychological forces are at play and cause food cravings.
For more info, you can check out another video I made titled ‘3 Action-Items For What To Do When You Plateau On A Diet Before, During And After’ by clicking here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwwYEXYkcMc
Big picture: deprivation causes what-the-hell effect.
When you are deprived of a food, the food becomes more valuable.
For example, if you don’t let yourself have any pizza because you are on the keto diet, then you will start to crave carbs.
While oftentimes carbs are the food groups excluded from diets, the reverse effect can be true if you are doing say a veggie diet and not getting enough protein.
In this case, you might start to crave protein.
In other words, we humans VALUE more what we have rarely.
If you only let yourself eat ice-cream 1x per week, and the other 6 days of the week you are craving ice cream, you will be in a deprived state.
This deprivation will lead to the what-the-hell effect.
Now before we talk about the what-the-hell effect, it’s vitally important to understand that deprivation can be equally as powerful emotionally as physically.
We all understand physical deprivation.
We all know that when we are starving, when we haven’t eaten all day, that we are more likely to binge.
Why is that? Well, our body’s crave food.
Our body’s produce chemicals that tell our brain to go find food and eat it!
However, the same biological phenomenon occurs when we are in emotional deprivation.
Emotional deprivation occurs when you want 5 bars of chocolate, but then only let yourself eat 1. You are having chocolate, but you aren’t satisfied. You are deprived.
Unfortunately, you will probably keep eating other foods until you finally give in and then have the other 4 bars of chocolate you had wanted all along.
The most common cause of emotionally deprived eating comes from guilt.
Let’s say you have 5 chocolate bars but while you eat these chocolate bars you are
- criticizing yourself
- worrying about calories
- distractedly eating
- automatically eating
- eating to avoid feeling stress in your life
All these emotional factors could easily cause you to ‘disconnect’ from your eating experience.
The strange thing about the brain is that the brain counts this disconnect as deprivation.
Even though your stomach is full, the brain sees that you are AT WAR WITH THIS FOOD.
It sees that this food is WORTH FIGHTING OVER.
So that chocolate bar you keep battling internally over whether to eat it?
That is just sending a signal to your brain that this chocolate bar is INSANELY VALUABLE.
Then … you can’t stop thinking about the candy bar. In essence, you have created a deprived state by wanting the chocolate bar secretly but then not giving yourself permission to fulfill your desire.
When you are in a deprived state, breaking the rules becomes a path to freedom.
Eventually, everyone breaks the rules.
No one is perfect on their diet.
Humans are not meant to be bound by rules with food, we’re meant to go with our gut instinct.
However, when we are deprived of foods, the foods our gut wants is chocolate candy, and so forth.
Then we get stressed out, we get tired, or for some reason our willpower goes down …
This is the freedom our bellies and subconscious minds have been waiting for!
Quick! Hurry up! Eat all the food you aren’t letting yourself have.
The brain and belly see this chance when you have ‘failed’ your rules to finally get the valuable food that has been deprived of for so long.
So, you rationalize this by saying ‘what-the-hell’ why not? I’ve already failed so I mine as well fail big time and get this out of my system.
Little do you know that while you say ‘get this urge out of my system’ this is in fact your brain and belly getting emotional permission to eat the food that has been deemed valuable.