If you missed them, part one was the addictive nature of many processed foods, particularly those containing sugar or salt, and part two covered the imbalances in our bodies and nutrient deficiencies that can cause cravings.
Part three is possibly the hardest one to change… the emotional side of why we choose what we do.
We can have all the right information and goals and the best of intentions, but there is so much power in our habits and in the drive to fulfill an emotional need with food, including:
- What we reach for when we’re tired, or bored or overwhelmed or trying to procrastinate.
- What foods provide comfort when we feel down.
- What foods provide crunch when we want to keep our mouth busy.
- What foods provide sweetness to life our spirits or help us celebrate!
Sometimes food has a special meaning- desserts may be comforting because our mom baked a lot as a child, or we may associate a certain time of day with a treat.
We may find that we use food to avoid things we don’t like about ourselves- or maybe we don’t really want to draw attention to ourselves and weight is a good way to keep it that way.
Maybe we’re really unhappy in some other area of our lives and food has become the coping mechanism.
There are endless possibilities here but the point is to start digging.
Start building awareness. Start noticing when you eat and what you are choosing. Think about your hunger levels. Think about WHY you’re choosing what you’re choosing and if it’s what you REALLY want.
As you identify the emotional reasons you go to certain foods, you can begin to prevent those scenarios or catch yourself before it’s too late. Or post notes inside your cupboards to create more mindfulness around those habits in your life.
And little by little you can make small changes and begin to trust your body again- to trust it’s hunger and fullness cues, to trust the craving that it’s asking for (or learn how to interpret it) – to trust that you can fuel yourself properly.
Personally, I struggle the most when I’m bored or have a project I’m procrastinating working on. Food provides a great distraction.
How about you?
Which emotional factors or habits are a challenge for you?
Deconstructing and conquering cravings is one of the aspects I work with my clients around balancing their health and discovering the best version of themselves. If you’ve wondered if you could benefit from a holistic health coach, contact me and we can chat. I’d love to hear your story and see if health coaching is a good fit for you!