The ONLY Problem With Food Cravings
Updated: May 21
The internet is flooded with headlines that say things like "how to curb your sugar cravings" and "11 ways to stop unhealthy food cravings".
I'm guilty for falling for them.
I used to have a fear around my cravings for dairy, carbs, and sugar. I'd start to bake a batch of cookies and I would end up binge eating all of the cookie dough before I even baked the cookies! Can you relate?! I was suppressing my cravings so much that I couldn't control myself!
Sometimes you might not even know where some of these fears came from, just that these foods feel "off limits" and "bad".
If you walk around the grocery store you might notice that everything is labeled: "low-carb","sugar-free", etc. That's because marketers and advertisers KNOW you have those fears. It's easy to think your cravings for sugar, carbs, and other foods society has labeled "unhealthy", are shameful!
But really, the only problem with food cravings is the guilt we've placed around them!
The more "bad" labels and limits you put on a food, the more you're going to crave them!
For example, when you try to suppress a craving by eating an apple instead of a cookie, having a sweet potato instead of fries, getting the low calorie ice cream instead of the sundae -- you deep down know you didn't get what you wanted. You're not fooling ANYONE with that 'diet' dessert replacement, including yourself. You're not hungry anymore but you're still thinking about that cookie, those fries, that sundae! You've put these food cravings higher up on a pedestal, with power over you!
Sometimes you might actually allow yourself to have the food you're craving "just this one time and never again", and you may start to think about when you won't "be able" to have this food again. You might seize the moment, potentially abuse the moment, and overeat until you feel sick. You might blame the problem on the food itself instead of acknowledging that suppressing your cravings is a sign you have a disordered relationship with the food.
If you continue on this cycle, you will always feel guilt and shame around food.
The fact is, carbs are calming for your brain and eating sugar activates your brain's reward system with dopamine (the "feel good" chemical). This triggers the brain to want more of whatever caused that feeling or dopamine release in the first place...which is where the 'addiction' comes from. This is normal and natural. When you restrict carbs and sugar, you start to feel like you're even more“addicted” to them.
You're not addicted. The truth is simple - the more you deny your cravings, the more intensely you will want them.
So here's what you can do to stop this cycle: eat the foods you're craving!
What you're craving is what your body needs. The sooner you start eating the thing you're craving, the sooner it will lose it's power over you.
Of course this doesn't happen overnight. You might've spent many years ignoring what your body actually wants, trying to obey the rules of "healthy" eating and dieting. Now you have to rewire your brain to finally free it from this vicious cycle.
Today, I finally have that food freedom and confidence. As an intuitive eater, I don't deprive myself of the food I'm craving and I don't "binge eat" those foods. I enjoy apples and sweet potatoes, but some days I also enjoy cookies, french fries or ice cream. I still love to bake but now I can let myself enjoy the process without bingeing on the cookie dough. I can finally enjoy the cookies that are full of dairy, carbs, and sugar - the foods I once felt guilty around, the foods I once feared. Eating intuitively has kept my weight stable without me even trying. Instead of the fluctuations of gaining, then losing weight - I've found my happy medium!
Can you imagine how it would feel if you weren't always thinking about food? Well, it IS possible.
This is something I support my clients with every day. Through my program, my clients start to acknowledge the foods they feel guilty around. They begin to take note of their cravings and indulge in them. Sometimes that might mean eating more carbs or sugar than they've ever eaten before, but that's OK - and slowly they start to feel ok with it, too. I love seeing my clients become intuitive eaters, finally feeling free to eat the foods they love, and understand what their bodies need. Most of all, I love seeing my clients transform their confidence, finally start to love and accept their bodies and have a healthy relationship with food.
If you're ready to stop feeling guilty around food and cravings and start feeling confident in your skin - I'm offering a FREE 30-minute Food & Body Freedom Assessment Call. Together we'll design your customized health plan with simple steps to become an intuitive eater and you'll walk away feeling confident around food cravings and in your skin. Book your free call here.
Let's make peace with your food cravings, so you can finally focus less on feeling stressed around food and have more brain space for the things, people, and work you love!