December 2

Understanding The 5 Notorious “Craving Culprits” (and how to deal with them)

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If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with (or have dealt with) crazy-feeling food cravings. 

 

But don’t worry, experiencing cravings is nothing to fret over. 

 

We ALL experience cravings throughout our lives. Being subject to temptation is a part of what makes us human. 

 

Take these common instances for example: 

 

You had a bitter fight with your spouse. Now that tub of ice cream while you watch a rom com seems irresistible. 

 

You smell popcorn at the movie theatre and suddenly that bag of mini carrots you snuck in seems inadequate. 

 

You barely slept last night and you’re late for work. Grabbing a sausage and egg McMuffin sounds delicious and convenient. 

 

All of these are perfectly okay 🙂 

 

Ask literally anyone and I’m sure they would react the same if placed in a similar situation. But I also understand that trying to fight these cravings can be overwhelming… Especially if you’re trying to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. 

 

I have good news though! 

 

Most of these cravings can be traced back to a “culprit” that is triggering them in the first place. And once you know who the “culprit” is, you’ll know the exact best way to fight back and take control. 

 

So without further ado, allow me to introduce you to… 

 

The 5 Notorious “Craving Culprits” (and how to combat them) 

 

Culprit #1. Your Emotions 

 

Stress, boredom, overwhelm, sadness… 

 

All of these are unpleasant feelings, and sometimes it’s easier to look for distractions or a way to “soothe” the unhappiness. 

 

But just like turning to booze isn’t a healthy way to deal with your feelings, neither is a large tub of ice cream. 

 

Here’s how to combat this craving: 

 

Stick a pin in it. As soon as you feel the urge to do a face dive into a bag of crisps because your boss reamed you out at work, take 10-30 minutes (or however long you want) to focus on something else. 

 

There’s a good chance that the urge that came on so suddenly will fall away, like a wave.  

 

Now, If the craving is still there, go ahead and eat it (yep, that’s totally fine). The important thing is to give yourself space to recognise whether or not you’re eating because you’re hungry or eating because you’re emotional. 

 

Culprit #2. Sleepiness and Fatigue 

 

Lack of sleep brings on a whole host of nasty problems… 

 

Things like poor judgment, lack of willpower, strong emotions, and even throwing our hunger hormones out of whack. 

 

These hormones, ghrelin and leptin, stimulate and decrease appetite, respectively. 

 

But when you’re sleep-deprived, ghrelin spikes and leptin falls, leading to… 

 

…you guessed it… 

 

Cravings. 

 

Here’s how to combat this craving: 

 

Practice good sleep hygiene. This doesn’t mean taking a shower before bed (although that’s not a bad idea). This means making sleep your priority. 

 

Things you can do that will have you sleeping like a baby are turning off mobile devices and screens 30 minutes before bedtime, laying off the coffee or tea after 2 pm, keeping your room cool and dark, and going to bed the same time every night to build a routine. 

 

Now, this might not work perfectly if you have a crying baby or a night shift at the hospital so just do your best. Taking care of the other “culprits” will help. 

 

Culprit #3. Uncontrollable Hunger 

 

We know everything looks 10x as delicious (and irresistible) when you’re hungry. 

 

The bad news is that your growling tummy often makes poor food decisions. 

 

The good news is that there are a few tricks you can use to avoid the hangry monster. 

 

Here’s how to combat this craving: 

 

Eat more veggies. Veggies, like spinach or broccoli, are high-density, low-calorie foods. This means they take up a lot of space without blowing calories through the roof. 

 

You see, your stomach sends signals to the brain to stop eating when it’s physically full. 

If you load up on bulky salads versus a tiny croissant, you’ll feel fuller longer without breaking the bank on your calories. 

 

Protein is your friend. Getting more protein in your diet will also curb those hunger cravings. Out of all the macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein), protein is the most satiating. Protein takes the longest to digest, which means you’ll feel fuller longer. 

 

Culprit #4. Sneaky Craving Cues… 

 

Picture this: 

 

Your phone buzzes… 

 

What do you do? 

 

You probably pick the damn thing right up and check who’s texting you, yeah? 

 

You see, we’re conditioned to check our phones when they buzz or open our apps when we see a little red notification. 

 

And the same thing happens with food… 

 

I don’t know about you, but every time I plop down in front of the TV to watch Kung Fu Panda, I have the sudden urge to gorge myself on a bowl of noodles. 

 

The trick with cues is to make things more difficult to give into them… 

 

Here’s how to combat this craving: 

 

Turn off autopilot. With the phone, you can simply shut off notifications or put your phone on aeroplane mode. This doesn’t stop you from consciously checking your phone, but now you’re not being pulled in by the constant pings and buzzes. 

 

With food, you can tap into this phone analogy and ask yourself, “Is it really my choice to eat this, or is it another ‘ping, buzz, check’?” 

 

All you’re doing is creating space to make a conscious decision. 

 

And that can be extremely powerful. 

 

Culprit #5. Minding the Gap… 

 

“Present-day you” is a heckuva lot easier to please than “future you”. 

 

When that chocolate cake with the sprinkles on top is sitting in front of your face, you’re probably not thinking about “future you’s” fat loss goal… 

 

You’re probably thinking about scarfing down that scrumptious slice of heaven and smiling while you lick your fingers clean. 

 

This is because the reward for the cake is immediate and tangible, where the fat loss reward seems so far away. 

 

So how can you make sure “present-day you” doesn’t sabotage “future you”? 

 

Here’s how to combat this craving (this is the big one): 

 

Find your true motivation. This isn’t about the empty, “feel good” platitudes you see strewn all over social media. This is finding your true “WHY” behind the changes you’d like to make. 

 

What kind of person do you want to be? 

 

What are your values so you can make decisions that align with your values? 

 

It takes a lot of digging and a lot of asking yourself “why” to get to the person you want to be, the life you want to live, and how your goals align with this person. 

 

This is something that we work with our clients on quite a bit because discovering your true “why” is THAT important. 

 

With that being said, if you have no idea what your “why” is and you’re struggling to figure it on your own… 

 

Body Matters can help! 

 

>>> Plug in your email here and drop us a quick message with what you’re struggling with. 

 

We’ll help you take control of your cravings so they don’t control you. 

 

Just like we’ve helped many of our clients uncover their true motivation and do the same. 


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