- Self care is what to do when craving
- Self care is also a major way on how to prevent cravings
Please note there is more to preventing cravings than just understanding and practicing self-care. You must also have some understanding as to why diets fail.
It’s not enough to know that diets fail. You must know why. It’s because of deprivation and scarcity. For another video on deprivation and scarcity, you can watch me here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCsbIvfhMjE
For starters, just being able to practice mindfulness in the midst of a craving or binge eating attack can transform your relationship with food.
Numerous times I’ve asked people to simply remove the guilt around eating and to pay attention how the food tasted in their mouth.
Many times, not all the time, but frequently …
People report that they didn’t like the food. That the food was disappointing. That the food didn’t taste as good as they thought. That they didn’t want to finish their meals.
And for many people, this is an eye-opening experience. Just by being mindful during a cravings attack, they naturally didn’t want food.
How does this work?
Well, oftentimes during a craving attack, we secretly are just bored or stress or have hurt feelings.
(we can also be hungry too, but that’s a different conversation, and why self-care doesn’t always work)
But hunger aside, oftentimes cravings come from a stressful emotion.
So you automatically eat.
You zone out.
You blank out.
You stop thinking while eat food.
Food is a way to turn off your brain.
And when you practice mindfulness, which is incredibly hard during a binge attack don’t get me wrong …
You’re basically telling the brain … (your brain I should say)
“Brain, we are not distracting ourselves with food today. We are going to deal with our emotions the hard way! We are going to feel them!”
And the brain then stops craving the food. Because you start eating the food but you keep your mindfulness. So you never go into distracted eating or anything.
This then paradoxically sets you up to not binge eat.
See, by practicing mindfulness, you are just noticing:
- the taste of the food
- the texture of the food
- how full you are
Etc. You are also free to ask yourself if this food tastes good or not? You are free to evaluate your food.
The opposite is where we feel guilty and ashamed we have cravings. So then the cravings become hurried and fast.
We scarf down food rapidly before anyone, especially ourselves, will see. We’re guilty after all. We’re bad people for eating food. So we have to hide and disconnect.
However, does this work? Of course not.
In the beginning as you start to practice mindfulness with food, it’ll be tough to remain mindful during the meal.
You may start out mindful but then get overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings that bombard you.
You need to expect this.
This ability to be present and stay present with food, especially foods that you crave, is a tough skill to learn.
But you must practice. You must grow. The alternative is to be caught forever. And that’s definitely worse.