If you live in the western world, the odds are that you are carrying (at least) a few extra pounds. We should all know by now that being overweight increases the risks of a lot of the major killers – heart disease, stroke, cancer and Type 2 Diabetes. That combined with the time of year, a time of new years resolutions and promising to do something after the excess of Christmas, means you may well be on some sort of diet.
There are many different types of diet available. Atkins, Hollywood, Dukan, cabbage soup, food combining, portion control, sugar-free, paleo and clean eating to name just a few. They all have one thing in common. They mean you will have to give up on some foods that you have been previously eating, or at least, cut down on them.
This can lead to cravings, and cravings can ruin the best of intentions.
You may want to be thinner, you may want to be healthier, but if that ‘naughty treat’ is calling your name, that can all be forgotten in an instant.
Dealing with sweet cravings
A big part of the problem with the western diet is that it contains too much sugar. Many of us have a sweet tooth, often a seemingly uncontrollable one. In some ways it’s a little bit like a craving for a cigarette. You only get the craving if you are a user. Non smokers do not crave tobacco. People who don’t eat sugar don’t crave it.
The fastest way to get rid of your sugar craving is to stop eating sugar. Don’t cut back, don’t wean yourself off. Stop.
Part of the problem is that we often don’t know when we’re eating sugar. Not only is it added to many premade foods, like barbecue sauce or tomato soup, but it’s very prevalent in foods that claim to be ‘low fat alternatives’ or in drinks like flavoured water.
The way you can be sure that no one has added sugar to your food is either to carefully read every food label or to make it yourself. Buy ingredients and get cooking!
But what if you hate the idea of giving up the sweet stuff? You can still controll how much of it you eat if you want to. One popular technique is to think about the food you are craving. Close your eyes and imagine it. Thinks what it smells like, what it will feel like in your mouth, how you’ll feel when your eating it. Then think about getting a salt shaker. Take the lid off it and imagine pouring all of the salt out onto the food. Again, think about what that would look like, what it would taste like if you tried to eat it, how it would feel and how you would feel. Still want to eat it? Probably not!
Dealing with general food cravings
Another way you can manage food cravings is to think about the food you are craving in detail again, but this time I want you to mentally change the image. Firstly make the picture in your mind postcard sized. Make the picture black and white, maybe even a little fuzzy. Remove yurself from the picture (assuming you were in it) and make it a little smaller. Now move the picture to the top left corner of your minds eye, so you can barely see it. You should notice a distinct drop in cravings for that food/drink.
The main thing with both of these techniques is that you have to make the decision to do them. After practicing for a while you may notice that it gets easier and more effective, and eventually your brain will use the new pathways so that you find you don’t even need to try any more.
Once you have your cravings under control, making healthy food choice will become easier and easier and you will be on top of your eating in no time.
Many people struggle with their weight. Almost without exception the way you think about yourself and food is at the heart of it. Hypnotherapy is a great tool to help put you back in charge of your eating.