How do I get over cravings?

This is a frequent question among people trying to lose weight, and is even more relevant for those following restrictive diets;

why?

Because it is well-known that any attempt to repress the thought about something (in this case food) commonly becomes a fixation and restrictive diets do exactly that, they force you to stop thinking about the foods you love, which ironically leads to cravings.

This is the reason why restrictive diets don’t work and smarter people will always follow healthier, less-restrictive options like the Ketogenic Diet or the Mediterranean Diet; however you have to know that cravings happen to everyone trying to melt fat away, they are normal and okay.

The problem is that people don’t know how to differentiate between hunger and cravings in the first place, so they end up putting themselves at a higher risk of eating unhealthy foods just because they override their rational mind with thoughts like: “you deserve this!” or “it’s been a long day!”.

And what comes next?

Guiltiness!. As soon as they realize that everything was just a craving they start feeling guilty and “not good enough” to keep themselves on track, they start feeling depressed and eventually give up. But this doesn’t have to be you, and everything starts from knowing how to differentiate between hunger and cravings.

But how do you do that?.

 

How to differentiate between hunger and cravings, in a 2-sentence action plan

Adam Gilbert founder of MyBodyTutor, recommends a very easy action plan to recognize cravings and start doing something to beat them. And no, it’s not complicated at all, doesn’t require equipment or medication and you can start using it today, in fact his action plan is just 2 sentences long:

Think about broccoli the next time you feel hungry, if the idea of broccoli doesn’t seem appealing, you are probably having a craving.

Simple, isn’t it? Adam calls this action plan The Broccoli Test and I know it might sound like a silly idea at the beginning, but is powerful for a very simple reason, it helps you clear your mind and keep control of yourself because now you know what is happening so it will be much easier to overcome any excuses for unhealthy eating.

But Adam’s recommendation doesn’t end there.

Decode and beat cravings effectively by asking 2 simple questions

There are different approaches people take when they experience cravings, the most common ones include using willpower to beat them or distract themselves to forget about the food they crave, but according to Adam these are temporary solutions and don’t help people to identify their craving’s root cause.

Instead of fighting cravings, Adam recommends to decode and prevent the craving by asking yourself why do I crave this food? Instead of How do I get over this craving? See the difference?

When you change your mind and ask the right questions, you will be dealing with the root cause of cravings, which is crucial to sustainable weight loss according to Adam.

But let’s go even deeper and ask ourselves what cravings actually are?.

According to many experts, cravings are a signal that something in your life feels overwhelming at the moment, and to know what is it just answer these questions: Are you bored?, stressed?, or in need of a quick escape? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you have discovered the trigger of your craving.

Now, you have to know that not every craving is emotionally loaded, so it is necessary that you evaluate yourself and determine the reason for your cravings, this will help you take control.

Besides asking yourself why do I crave this?, Adam recommends to also ask what can I do about it? and immediately take action.

Let me give you an example.

If you crave unhealthy foods because you feel bored, ask yourself what can I do about it? I bet you mind will come with answer like: going for a walk, do some gardening, do some cleaning or something similar.

Then, as soon as you have the answer go ahead and do it! Take action! Doing so will help you train your mind to overcome cravings, boredom and guiltiness, allowing you to reach your weight loss goals faster.

Take home message

Don’t feel bad about cravings, in fact, believe it or not, you can enjoy a portion of your favorite food here and there even when dieting, as long as you do it carefully, and avoid overeating.

The next time you feel hungry, apply the broccoli test and ask yourself the 2 simple questions you learned in this post: why do I crave this? and what can I do about it?.

Use your answers to train your mind to work in your favor and take action! Remember that consistency and self-discipline are key to your weight loss success.

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