What do stress, anxiety, boredom, the Quarantine 15 all have in common? Eating uncontrollably. “Caving to the cravings.” While sometimes it feels like all you can do is eat, it doesn’t have to be this way. No matter what the situation, I’m here to provide some guidance. Try the 5D’s the next time you need to tame that inner beast we call “craving”.
Physical and Emotional Hunger
First, take a moment when you want to eat to decide whether it is physical or emotional hunger. What’s the difference? What do these typically look like?
Physical hunger – It’s been 3-4 hours since you last ate. Your stomach growls and you feel light-headed. You put thought into what you will eat to fuel your body.
Emotional hunger – Is a source of instant gratification that you need right now. Even though you just ate, you’re unable to stop. It is hard to determine whether you are full.
If you determine that you want to eat to satisfy emotional hunger, I encourage you practice the 5D’s:
- DELAY – Wait 10 minutes (and drink some water in the meantime)
- DISTANCE – Move away from the kitchen and do not have food present in other rooms
- DISTRACT – Do something else for 10 minutes. Suggestions – dance to music, exercise, read a book, journal your emotions, artwork
- DETERMINE – Think about how much you really want the food you crave
- DECIDE – How much to eat, use portion control and savor the flavor (meaning ENJOY)
When you practice the 5Ds, in time, it will reduce impulsive eating.
Reduce Your Cravings
The following tips can help manage food cravings:
Eat Balanced Meals
Eat every 3-4 hours without skipping meals. Balance food groups throughout the day without omitting a group or macro (carbohydrate, protein or fat) as this could increase the cravings later.
Mood or Situation
Accept food cravings as a normal part of living. We are surrounded by food images in a food-oriented society. Sometimes it’s hard to control the craving, but you can control your reaction (5Ds). I recommend food journaling, but not only for the food but also how you were emotionally feeling at the time you ate.
It is impossible to control every situation in your life. Take responsibility for nourishing your body with healthy choices, balanced throughout the day to provide a feeling of fullness and satisfaction
Listen to your body. If it’s been 3-4 hours and you start hearing the grumblings, don’t wait until your stomach is scaring the person next to you. This will set you up to overindulge next time you eat and fill you to uncomfortable levels.
Stop “Good” vs “Bad”
Stop labeling food as “forbidden.” It’s not the food, it’s the amount and frequency the “not as healthy food” is consumed.
It’s the old saying “everything in moderation.” Food is pleasure, it’s ok to enjoy occasionally and in moderation.
Staying active (and distracted) can reduce food cravings…and keeps you in good health.
Nourish and Thrive!
Food can create a joyous experience and bring back fond memories, but I know that for some, eating can bring up feelings of negativity, guilt, and frustration. Nourish2Thrive was created for those looking to have a healthier relationship with real food guided by someone who has been there. I want to help you find relief from food battles by teaching you about fueling your body to live the life you’ve always dreamed of. Don’t you want to feel better and thrive? Contact me today for a free consultation!