One Too Many Addictive Cravings?

Is there a particular time of the day when you can’t help indulging on a sweet, soft and savory treat?  Has it become a ritual, a reward you treat yourself to in light of all the afflictions you’ve been dealing with in this year to mark down in history?

Simultaneously, are you noticing signals of excess sugar and fat intake in your body? Are your favorite summer outfits no longer fitting the same? Perhaps, pricks of conscience are telling you to get it together before it gets worse, but motivation is just a scarce these days! When that particular time of the day kicks in and finds you alone, at home, on your couch, with nothing else to entertain you, you can’t help. I don’t blame you, there’s a lot that goes into cravings. It’s more mental than physical and you need to approach this the right way.

Clearly, these uncertain and trying times come with a fair share of restrictions. This creates an absence of the brain pleasure hormones that make us feel good. Consequently, we seek comfort in addictive foods like dairy, sweets and fats to reproduce that feel good effect and reward mechanism in the brain. Rest assured, you’re not alone in this. I’ve been there. As I always say, be gentle and meet yourself where you’re at. The following tips I share will provide gentle support for overcoming cravings.

First, don’t quit cold turkey! I recommend bringing more awareness into the process. When you notice cravings arising, turn your observer lenses on. Observe how cravings come up, how they manifest in the body and how the desire to indulge unfolds. When you set out to satisfy the craving, pause for a second. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and connect to the craving. Ask yourself “Do I really need this or is there a deeper need underneath it?” Then eat it mindfully. By that I mean without guilt, taking the time to chew and properly connect to the flavor, taste and texture of the food. For the first times you practice this, eat the treat. Then try to see if you can forego it without forcing anything. Even cheat meals digest better if you take the time to consume them without guilt or rush and while fully savoring them. This way you may notice changes in quantities of cheat meal consumed and reduced cravings.

Secondly, hydrate plenty! Dehydration or insufficient water intake triggers cravings for carbs, salty or sweet foods. The summer heat requires greater water intake than in other seasons. Drink plenty of water. Consume healthy and unsweetened liquids and watery summer fruits and veggies. Some examples are watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, apricots, pineapple, lettuce, celery, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, asparagus, okra, etc…

Thirdly, scrap your tongue with a tongue scrapper daily after brushing your teeth. The food we consume forms a layer that coats the tongue and causes cravings. Tongue scrapping removes that layer.

Get on a detox to cleanse your cells and remove toxic residues that trigger cravings from the blood. It could be a seasonal or daily detox. A daily detox consists of consuming foods high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties everyday. A seasonal detox involves following a set protocol and food restrictions for a period of time. Find out more about how to detox and the different types of detox HERE.

Listen to your body! Unprocessed emotions have their own energy. Think of them as a burdens that trail along and weight you down. Their energy often torments thoughts and hinder peace of mind. You may resort to sweet and cheesy foods to ease the discomfort. I recommend taking the time daily, preferably before bed time, to connect to emotions that came up throughout the day. Feel them, assess what is yours and release what’s not yours to preserve your energy. A journaling technique called mind dump consists of writing down everything in your mind before going to sleep. It’s a great way to release stagnant emotions and worries.

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