Are food cravings ruining your life?
For many, food cravings are an element of their life that is totally out of control. From the minute they open their eyes in the morning to the time they go to bed, food is at the forefront of their thoughts. Food is a pick me up when feeling drained and they need to keep going, coffee, chocolate and carbonated caffeinated drinks are all commonly used in such instances. Alcohol is craved at times of intense stress and ice cream is commonly turned to at times ofdeep despair such as break ups and misunderstandings. These are some of the more well known ones. there are hundreds more! What food cravings do you have you feel tense?
How common are food cravings?
I write from a place of many years of experience with food cravings, eating disorders and disordered eating and it has always been my passion, ever since I self healed in 1999 to use my years of struggle and experience to help others regain their own power. And with 97 percent of women and 68 percent of men experiencing food cravings, three out of four American women having disordered eating habits and an estimated3% ofyoung females having some form of eating disorder; I am clearly not alone. I have worked within the 'fitness' 'health and wellness' industry ever since I can remember and I have come to a very strong conclusion that every single woman and most men are held back by their relationship with food when it comes to achieving optimal health. I'd like to see the regulation offood cravings become a part of food technology lessons on the school curriculum. How cool would it be if our children never had to worry about their weight and relationship with food in adult life because they were taught how identify their body's messages at school?
Why do we experience food cravings?
Your entire body, including your appetite, reflects the level of peace of mind in your life as well as the commonly known biological needs of the body. Despite what we think, food cravings are actually part of a very intelligently designed system that is partly responsible for creating homeostasis in the body. Homeostasis is the ability or tendency of an organism or cell to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting it's physiological processes.
There are two types of hunger that humans experience, emotional hunger and physical hunger. The two can feel identical unless you've learned to identify their distinguishing characters. In short, emotional hunger is sudden and usually for a specific food, which can be mistaken for one of your food cravings and physical hunger is gradual and gives you steady progressive clues that it's time to eat.
Now, very rarely do we experience cravings from a straight place of physiological hunger. We may be influenced by having seen an advert on TV or having seen someone eating something at the next table in a restaurant just as we're about to order and sort of say " I want one of those"! It used to happen to me all the time when I was pregnant with my son. This is not, however, the same as those food cravings that force you to drive miles out of your way on your journey home from work to stop at that burger place, fried chicken place, confectioners or bakery to satisfy that food craving that just won't go away until you've eaten the desired food.This type of food craving is your body trying to give you some valuable information.
How can I know what my food cravings mean?
The key to beginning to understand your body's intelligent messaging system is to slow down long enough to pay attention. It's like tuning into a specific radio station, sometime you have to be a little patient before the transmission can be clear enough to enjoy. Make a vow, to get to know YOU, the inner workings of YOU. You could learn in detail, what every single food craving means, when and why they occur; this is great in theory. If, however, you don't take the time to connect all that useful information is a waste of time.
Do our emotions impact on our food cravings?
Today it is common knowledge that our emotions play a role in over eating and unhealthful eating. We are complex blends of our past experiences, present situations, heredity, emotions, thoughts, beliefs and behaviours. Just think about how many people you know who have embarked on a fixed diet or eating regime for weight loss, you may even be one of them? Think about how long it took them to lose some weight, how long it took them break the diet and how long it took to regain some if not all the weight? Why does this happen? The diet's are fool proof, easy to follow and the food is healthy and tasty! Right? Generic diets are exactly that; it's one size fits all. A bit like the difference between buying a dress or pair of trousers off the rail and getting one tailor made for you. If our individual personality and emotional reactions to life aren't taken into consideration then sooner or later the DIETER will get in the way of their success. For optimal success, an intricate analysis of behaviours, tendencies, habits, lifestyle and emotional connection to food needs to be taken into consideration.
Sometimes going inside and shining a spotlight on the inner workings of our life can be scary, and unsettling. We never know what we're going to find and whether we'll like what we discover about our current patterns and life style. Having a good support system in place can really help though, someone who is impartial and who will combine expert advice with practical application that is relevant to your very unique life. If you'd like some help to begin to understand what is holding you back from a great relationship with food please don't hesitate to contact me. I offer one off session via telephone or Skype or I can work with you over a number of months. Contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org