Ep 11 6 Effective Ways To Gain Control Over Your Food Cravings Once And For All

podcast Apr 11, 2018

Cravings are crack

Can I get a raise of hands who here has cravings, specifically food cravings! Maybe for a delicious slice or five of Chicago cheesy deep dish pizza or some Hersey’s chocolate-y goodness? Hiiiii me too! Or at least I use to, big time! 

Like most millennial's I grew up in a time where marketing pop-tarts and sugar-filled cereal to a kid on a Saturday morning in-between episodes of Sponge Bob was the regular deal, as I sat with a large bowl of Cocoa Puffs because who doesn’t go cuckoo for those when they’re eight and not educated in nutrition.

Now sitting here as a 27 year old who just recently in the last year or so got a handle on her cravings, that shiz is real. To this day I dream about chocolate though, my one and only remaining craving and vice, but as long as I continue with a few crucial practices I know I have full control of my cravings.

 

A few observations along the way...

What I’ve learned when I started to listen to my body and cravings... 

  • Cravings are your body and mind telling you something, you’re just probably misinterpreting the information

  • You’re really craving something else, your body really doesn’t want that donut exactly, sorry...

  • Fancy food advertising has, well, brain washed us

  • Your body is actually looking for nutrient-dense fuel that you’re mostly likely lacking

  • You’re addicted to sugar and a rush of energy (que sugar rush)

  • You’re body is under stress and you might not actually be hungry, hanger-y or starving 

  • Your mind is calling the shots, you’re really not in the drivers seat 

  • It’s not easy or simple to reverse your cravings and take back control (if you ever had it)

So this all might sounds a little disheartening, shocking or even overwhelming but I got you! I’m going to share my list of tried and true tips, tricks and methods to help you take back control over your cravings and your body without you feeling like a crazy person when you’re trying to make healthier choices!

 

My secret tricks & tips spilled

1) Hydrate yo’self

I know, sooo simple Veronica. But time and time again we hear “hydrate your body” and for good reason. Most likely 9 out of 10 times when you’re “hungry” you’re actually thirsty. No surprise there since your body is mostly made of the good stuff, H2O. Every part of your cellular self needs water to do its thing. I know it’s not always easy to grab for the water first but here are a few ways to make this an instant thought and grab for.

Don’t drink boring water.

Fancy up your water with real food, not those cute packets of Crystal Light with artificial sweeteners, flavors and ingredients. Instead have a fancy water with some herb, fruits and essential oils. 

 

Essential Oils

(I only recommend dōTERRA essential oils which you can get directly through me, yay!)

  • Citrus oils such as lemon, lime, grapefruit (lots of great antioxidants to help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals)

  • Spicy oils such as cinnamon (boost your metabolism)

  • Herb-y oils such as basil, cilantro, rosemary (great detoxifiers)

(p.s. a little goes a loooong way so for all aside from the citrus oils I recommend using a toothpick to flavor your water)

 

Herbs & Spices 

  • Basil

  • Chamomille 

  • Cilantro

  • Cinnamon

  • Dandelion

  • Fennel 

  • Ginger 

  • Ginseng

  • Hibiscious

  • Lavender

  • Lemon balm

  • Mint 

  • Parsley

  • Rosemary

  • Spearmint 

  • Tumeric 

  • Vanilla

(And if you run out of fresh herbs, use the essential oil counterpart, win win!)

 

Fruits 

  • Apple

  • Berries (strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, cherry) 

  • Cantaloupe

  • Coconut

  • Cranberry

  • Cucumber

  • Grapefruit

  • Kiwi

  • Lemon

  • Lime

  • Mango

  • Peace

  • Pear

  • Olive

  • Pineapple 

  • Pomegranate 

  • Rhubarb 

  • Watermelon

 

Some of my favorite pairings for fancy hydration

You can use any combo of herbs, fruits and essential oils here depending on what you have available in your kitchen and market. 

Pro tip: If you have time on your hands boil water and steep your herbs and fruits to get the most potent flavor then cool and sip (essential oils are already potent so no boiling or steeping required).

 

Ayurvedic Detox Tea

Fennel + Coriander + Cinnamon 

 

Mint to Blue 

Blueberry + Lemon + Mint

 

Summer Heat

Mango + Cayen 

 

Calm My Sour 

Lavender + Lemon

2) Movement

Get your body moving, whether its a skip around the block or a walk over to the water fountain to refill your cup by moving your body you allow your focus to go somewhere else and you start to produce hormones that satisfy your cravings. See you don't need that huge handful of M&Ms to be happy! Add a sticky note to your computer as a reminder to move.
 

3) Distraction

Simpler said than done but by distracting yourself you move your focus somewhere else, as mentioned above. Try talking to a friend or colleague, go for a short walk, listen to some music, maybe listen to a podcast called Gettin' Down With Your Roots *wink* *wink*, whatever works for you, find a way to focus on something else that is stimulating.
 

4) Substitute

My favorite substitute is dark chocolate. Its bitter with a little bit of that sweetness that cuts my craving almost instantly. Finding substitutes for your most prominent cravings can be a great way to recalibrate your cravings. Your substitutes don't even have to be be food based! By reaching for water or a walk versus a donut when you're craving a donut will eventually help your brain change its conditioning. Think, psychology and conditioning in respect to behavior.

 

5) Mindfulness

Simply becoming more aware of our cravings. Mindfulness is a beautiful practice that can transform the way you see and interact with food. A mindfulness practice can include simply asking yourself - "Am I hungry?"
 

A couple different mindfulness practices to try

 

Asking questions

When you get "hungry" ask yourself - "Am I hungry?" - If water doesn't satisfy you after 20 minutes then fix yourself something to eat, then ask "What is my body asking for?" - Does it really want that snickers bar or is it really asking for almonds. Some scientific studies show that when we crave one thing sometimes we actual need another. For example when we crave chocolate our body wants magnesium. Think about, if you're a woman, around your menstrual cycle when you want and have to have chocolate. Well your body actually needs more magnesium which chocolate can be a source of as long as you're eating unprocessed chocolate, kapish?! Also, don't only consider food. Your mind may be directing you towards a donut but you may actually be craving something deeper than that. Think about where your cravings are coming from - Are you stressed? Excited? Angry? Think, emotions and dig deep.
 

Chew, Taste, Savor

Another mindfulness practice is taking time top chew, taste and savor your food. When we gulp down big bites of food we're not giving ourselves the chance to savor the meal or even allow our body enough time to register the food. It takes about 20 minutes for our body to send a signal that it is no longer hungry, so when we keep gulping it down and suddenly realize we're stuffed its because we ate too fast! Take your time, its worth it. Create an environment where its inviting to eat slow, away from technology and distractions. 

 

6) Elimination Diet

Doing the elimination diet is probably the most time consuming of all my suggestions but well worth it. I suggest the elimination diet for the very fact that it allows you to detox your body and one by one put items back in and truly get a sense of how they feel in your body and in result gain back control over your body's response to cravings. 

I have completed the elimination diet a few times before and in the process I found out I was highly sensitive to dairy. Before I didn't even realize the affects on my body because I was numbed out. Whenever I felt gas-y or bloated or even moody I would blame it on something else. Now that I am more conscious and aware of the things I put into my body and eat, I notice almost instantly if not within 24 hours how something feels. Crazy I know! That also doesn't mean I completely eliminate dairy forever. I like to live a little and have dreams of traveling Italy again some day soon and eating all the pizza but now I can also be aware and plan for it so that simply eating dairy doesn't ruin my day. 

But back to cravings. Like most people I use to crave dairy, sugar and refined carbs, oh all the bread please! I felt crazy as if I couldn't control myself. Ever feel that way? I'd say that I have no discipline. I felt like crap. What is wrong with me! I am here to tell you that NOTHING is wrong with you. The food you're eating is addictive and when you have it constantly without giving your body a chance to breathe and think on its own then you'll be stuck in a cycle of cravings.

There are many ways to complete the elimination diet.

I suggest one of three ways.

 

Simple Start

Eliminate all processed food and stick to clean protein, grains, greens, veggies, and fruit for a few weeks then slowly add one item in at a time.

All Out

Eliminate all processed food, grains, and sugars even fruit and stick to clean protein, greens, and veggies for a few weeks then slowly add one item in at a time.

One-by-One

Eliminate one item at a time whether it be sugar or bread then add it back in after a week or so and see how it feels. 

When you eliminate an item from your diet it gives your body a break and a chance to recalibrate. Then when you put that item back in you get a chance to feel it out and see how it affects you and become more aware of your body. When you are aware then you gain control over your craving. Potentially, you may not even want that food as often or ever again. When I did the elimination diet and found out I had a dairy sensitivity I thought it was the end of the world but I soon realized I didn't crave dairy and even when I did have a little, it wasn't satisfying which made not being able to have it an easy process. 

How to get started with an elimination diet?

If you're looking for guidance in completing an elimination diet, reach out to me! I have successfully guided clients through an elimination diet and look out for one-on-one coaching options coming soon! 


Hope this post and podcast episode helps you crack down on your food cravings one by one! Whats your biggest food craving? Did you try any of these methods? Which was most successful for you? Comment below.

Every week you can be part of the discussion by sending me your questions, thoughts, hopes and experiences.

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And if you're in the area I will be teaching yoga this Sunday and hopefully many more Sundays after at Buckledown Brewery! For more info send me a message.

To get some amazing essential oils you can use safety and confidently in your water feel free to send me a message here and I will share with you information on the most tested, most trusted essential oils!

 
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