We all have them. I have them a lot. When I’m on a good run of eating healthy, I feel good, I feel light, I feel like I can conquer the world. Then a craving hits. Sometimes the cravings are telling me to eat an orange, which could mean my body needs vitamin C or perhaps I want a big juicy green salad. Right after a vacation of eating out too much, my body is usually screaming for veggies. In these incidences, the cravings need to be followed. When you’re body is used to mostly healthy and clean eating and you know to tune into it, cravings can mean something important.
When you aren’t as connected to your body, then you don’t want to fall for those creepy cravings. If they relate to something really salty and processed or really sweet filled with junk, then you should probably avoid them. These are the bad cravings. Here is a list of things you should do next time you want a bag of chips, milk chocolate or one of those sugary coffee drinks many of us love so much.
- Acknowledge the craving. With an actual pen and paper, write down: I really want to eat ___________.
- Remind yourself that the world isn’t going to run out of ___________.
- Rip up the paper into a gazillion pieces (not literally please – that would take way too long).
- Do the 4-7-8 breath four times in a row (Take 4 seconds to breathe in, hold at top for 7 seconds, take 8 seconds to exhale).
- With an actual pen and paper, write down: I love my body. I will now eat ________ and I will feel amazing. Use one of these examples (an apple, some celery and hummus, a big carrot, an orange, a handful of almonds or cashews and some raisins, a piece of whole grain toast with a nut butter, an apple with some nut butter, some yogurt, a smoothie made from real food).
- Read what you just wrote out loud (unless you’re on a first date, because that would be awkward).
- Do the 4-7-8 breath four times in a row. Thanks to Dr. Weil for promoting this breath.
If you get turned off by numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 just do number 4 once the bad craving hits. The breathing is the most important thing and calms your mind. It forces you to take a step out of the craving and look beyond it.
Now eat that healthy snack and move on to something more interesting.
EAT MORE VEG, SWEAT daily and don’t forget to BREATHE.